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JPMorgan joins France's payments network CB to skirt Visa, Mastercard

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LA Post: JPMorgan joins France's payments network CB to skirt Visa, Mastercard
March 05, 2024

PARIS (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Tuesday it had joined France's leading payments network Cartes Bancaires (CB), becoming the first U.S. bank to do so as it seeks to offer cheaper card payment costs to its clients in the country.

JPMorgan's merchant customers, which include some of the largest U.S. firms, will be able to process their payment via the CB's network by the end of 2024, JPMorgan added, offering a domestic alternative to rival services provided by Visa and Mastercard.

By doing so, the U.S. bank aims to "provide competitive transaction costs" to its clients, it said, without elaborating.

For international transactions where the CB network isn't accepted, the CB-branded cards can fall back on the Visa or Mastercard networks. In such cases, the payment processing would follow the rules and networks of Visa or Mastercard.

For payments made locally in France, it's usually cheaper for merchants run them over Cartes Bancaires.

JPMorgan joined Cartes Bancaires' 12-member governance body on Feb. 15.

The so-called "principal members" include all major French lenders such as BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole. The only foreign bank in the circle so far was HSBC.

Founded 40 years ago, the Cartes Bancaires network processes about two thirds of the everyday French consumers' transactions. There are about 76 million CB cards in circulation. Cartes Bancaires also operates 50,000 cash dispensers.

Lenders are seeking to grow in the payments business, which a 2023 McKinsey report sees reaching $3.2 trillion globally in 2027, up from $2.2 trillion in 2022.

Out of this total, McKinsey estimates the share of banking revenues to be 38%, up from 36% in 2022.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; editing by David Evans)


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