European Card Acquiring Forum, B2B Platform for Card Acquiring Information Exchange, Announces the 'Guiding Hand' Awards

Guiding Hand Awards to Recognize the Undisputed Leaders of Card Acquiring Industry

Dec 12, 2010, 03:00 ET from Empiria Group

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, Dec. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- European Card Acquiring Forum, representatives for the vital, if often overlooked, link in the card acquiring chain, is bringing card acquirers out from the shadows. The "Guiding Hand" awards will recognize industry excellence in credit card acquiring. Without acquirers, people could not pay with payment cards because payment acceptance would not exist.  

Hardly ever acquirers receive the visibility they deserve when it comes down to improving the end-to-end quality of a transaction, to implementing change, or ensuring the success of innovation, according to Empiria Group, the organizers of ECAF.  

Payment Acceptance growth rate poses more stringent demands on acquirers, while cardholders expect to be able to pay anywhere anytime. Regulators are those who impose more rules on card acquiring, like increased consumer protection, upon both issuing and acquiring banks

Acquiring, in some European countries organised on a national basis, will become more competitive following the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area.

Acquirers have been instrumental in the success of all major credit card processing innovations. Maestro (from nowhere to 500 million cardholders in less than 10 years) would have never grown without the rapid development of the acceptance network. More recently, acquirers facilitated the introduction of EMV Chip cards and the migration of the entire POS park.

Acquirers were also decisive when it came down to stopping the bleeding edge of credit card processing technology. Most electronic purses or e-wallets have died a sudden death because of lack of volume, largely due to a lack of acceptance. SET, the Secure Electronic Transaction, a fabulous technology, never even saw the daylight because of a 'njet' from the acquirers. More recently, those are largely acquirers challenging the PCI-DSS compliance.

In order to put their sector relevance into evidence, the European Card Acquiring Forum, for the second year, brings a tribute to those acquirers who were instrumental in pushing the card payment system beyond the next level and to those innovations that were relevant to the success of credit card processing and payments today and in the near future. The European Card Acquiring Forum has decided to bring this tribute under the format of Awards for excellence in various categories.

"By all means, acquirers are the guides in this card world full of chaos and change. That is why the 'fil rouge' of these Awards is the "Guiding Hand". "Acquirers need to offer a helping hand for merchants to understand the opportunities of the existing and coming payment systems", says Leon Dhaene, Chairman of the Jury of the Guiding Hand Awards. "At the same time, acquirers are the visionary who, by understanding what the acceptance markets need and by evaluating what the merchant accounts are willing to support, embrace or discharge innovations to market entry", Leon adds.

To rightfully honour the role of visionary and guide in card payments, the European Card Acquiring Forum has set a new standard in Awards. A young, promising artist, with budding international talent, Belgian Sofie Muller, has been selected to create the collector's set of statuettes of 'The Guiding Hands'. Ms Muller has collected several awards herself, and exhibited in several European cities and in New York.


The European Card Acquiring Forum will take place in Berlin, starting 22 February 2011 to 24 February 2011. The ECAF Awards, organized by Empiria Group, will take place the evening of February 23, following the second day of the conference.

The Guiding Hand Awards consist of following categories:

  • Performance Award
  • Channel Award
  • Usage Award
  • International Award
  • Information Award
  • Data Security Award
  • Loyalty Award
  • Merchant Award
  • Processing Award
  • Acquirer Personality of the Year Award

The award categories are open to a broad range of parties representing the card acceptance value chain.

More information about the ECAF Awards can be found here:

The European Card Acquiring Forum (ECAF) is a premier, independent, annual event and the only discussion platform putting together the community of card acquiring professionals from Europe and beyond. People with merchant accounts, acquirers, processors, payment service providers, schemes, regulatory bodies, consultants and other industry professionals are an inevitable part of this three-day interactive event.

Key features:

  • Strategic presentations based on case studies, delivered by and for retailers, e-tailers, acquirers, merchant account holders, schemes, processors, psp's & industry experts
  • Round-table discussions in smaller groups for brainstorming and problem solving of comprehensive credit card processing issues
  • Excellent networking opportunities in a true business atmosphere
  • ECAF Awards rewarding the winners of the contest in 10 categories

More information about this annual conference can be found here:


Marketing and media communication of the organizer:

David Vesely, call +421 245 248 931 or mail to

SOURCE Empiria Group