LSA has been appointed by NatWest’s international merchant services
division to position the bank in the run-up to the deregulation of
European credit card acceptance rules next year.
Deregulation will be useful to businesses with outlets in more than one
European country. At present businesses have to claim payment from
credit card companies like Visa from a separate bank in each European
The new rules mean they will now be able to recover money for credit
card transactions from one provider across 160 different currencies.
NatWest’s international merchant services has not used a PR agency
before, and LSA was hired without a competitive pitch. Its brief is to
raise awareness of the deregulation among financial directors and other
decision-makers across the UK and Europe and to promote Natwest’s card
Europay International, which owns the Mastercard franchise in Europe,
and Visa decided earlier this year to relax their rules on cross-border
card acceptance from next January. This move came after lobbying from
organisations including Natwest.
LSA corporate director, Sara Hirsch, who will be heading the Natwest
project, said: ’Consolidation is a major priority for companies with
global operations to which multi-card currency acceptance is the