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经济学人:美国终于向数字支付下手了(2)

来源:经济学人 编辑:Melody ?  可可英语APP下载 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet
  


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A big part of the problem in America is that, rather than route purchases through competing payment pipes, the fintechs still often have little choice but to rely on America’s credit-card networks to connect merchants, banks and consumers. The credit-card firms continue to demand a high rent of roughly 2%. Funds can take days to travel. That reflects the power and entrenched position of Visa and Mastercard. They process 86% of card payments through huge networks linking most shops and firms, which have to sign up to detailed terms and conditions.

美国的问题很大一部分在于,各大金融科技公司无法在购买行为中引入竞争性的支付渠道,他们通常别无选择,只能依靠美国的信用卡网络连接商户、银行和消费者。信用卡公司继续要求收取大约2%的高额费用。资金到账可能需要几天的时间。这反映了Visa和万事达卡的实力和根深蒂固的地位。这两家公司通过连接大多数商店和公司的庞大网络处理86%的信用卡支付业务,而合作商店和公司必须签署详细的条款和条件。

You might think that the answer is antitrust action against the credit-card firms. America’s competition watchdogs are growling. Last November the Department of Justice sued to block Visa’s $5.3bn purchase of Plaid after Visa’s boss described it as an “insurance policy” to neutralise a “threat to our important US debit business”. The two firms abandoned the deal. On March 19th the Wall Street Journal reported that the justice department had started a new probe over whether Visa is inhibiting merchants from switching to cheaper services. But do not get your hopes up. The courts, which decide most antitrust cases in America, take ages to act and tend to be too lenient. A big antitrust case against American Express in 2017 flopped.

你可能会认为解决办法是针对信用卡公司展开反垄断行动。美国的竞争监管机构正在怒号。去年11月,美国司法部提起诉讼,阻止Visa斥资53亿美元收购Plaid,此前Visa的老板称此举是一项“保险单”,旨在消除“对我们重要的美国借记业务的威胁”。这两家公司最终放弃了这笔交易。3月19日《华尔街日报》报道说,司法部开始就Visa是否禁止商家与更便宜的服务商合作展开一项新的调查。但是不要抱太大的希望。美国裁决大多数反垄断案件的法院需要很长时间才能采取行动,而且处理方式往往过于宽大。2017年针对美国运通的一桩反垄断大案最终告吹。

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Instead, the key to making payments more competitive in America is to create a new network of financial plumbing: a “real-time” interbank-payment system allowing for near-instant and cheap transfers. Swathes of Europe and Asia have already done this. Once this exists, banks and fintechs can build products, standards and services on top of it. In Singapore and the Netherlands, for example, those efficient payment pipes are open to digital wallets, which can process payments in a few clicks, taps or by scanning a QR code.

相反,让数字支付在美国更具竞争力的关键是建立一个新的金融管道网络:即“实时”跨行支付系统,支持近乎即时和廉价的转账业务。欧洲和亚洲的大部分地区已经这样采取了这样的系统。一旦该系统存在,银行和金融科技公司就可以在此基础上构建产品、标准和服务。例如,在新加坡和荷兰,这些高效的支付管道向数字钱包开放,只需点击几下、轻敲几下或扫描二维码即可用数字钱包处理支付。

America’s own effort at instant payments, backed by the Federal Reserve and known as FedNow, is to launch in 2023. The big banks and credit-card firms are keen to delay a system that could disrupt the status quo. The government and the Fed should not just ignore their grumbles but bring forward the timetable. The pandemic has shown that online transactions have come of age. It has also shown that the public sector can act quickly and effectively when it has to. Cheap and swift digital payments are a prize that should be viewed as a priority.

在美联储的支持下,美国自己的即时支付计划FedNow将于2023年启动。大银行和信用卡公司渴望推迟一个可能破坏现状的系统。政府和美联储不仅应该无视他们的抱怨,还应提上日程。此次新冠疫情表明,网上交易已经成熟。它还表明,公共部门可以在必要时迅速有效地采取行动。美国应当将廉价快捷的数字支付视为着重考虑的优先事项。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

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status ['steitəs]

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n. 地位,身份,情形,状况

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threat [θret]

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n. 威胁,凶兆
vt. 威胁, 恐吓

 
disrupt [dis'rʌpt]

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vt. 分裂,干扰,打断,妨碍,使破裂

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entrenched [in'trentʃt]

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adj. 根深蒂固的,(权力,风俗等)确立的

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ignore [ig'nɔ:]

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precariously [pri'kɛəriəsli]

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adv. 危险地,不稳固地

 
competitive [kəm'petitiv]

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adj. 竞争的,比赛的

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pandemic [pæn'demik]

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adj. 全国流行的 n. (全国或全世界范围流行的)疾

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efficient [i'fiʃənt]

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adj. 效率高的,胜任的

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competition [kɔmpi'tiʃən]

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