“The market has changed considerably in the past 22 years and NETS has to respond to these changes, particularly in the advent of growing competition from international debit cards that provide a more attractive revenue stream to card issuers."
"The reality is that if NETS wants to ensure its future presence, it has no choice but to bite the bullet and re-align its business model to continue operating in a sustainable manner. Should NETS chooses the option of inaction, Singapore retailers would ultimately be left with only a debit payment service run entirely by international card schemes which charge higher rates.
"The Exercise would let NETS continue its mission for the past 22 years – as a homegrown company committed to offering the most competitive cashless payment services to Singapore retailers.”
From NETS perspective, this appears to be a cost management issue, with card issuers demanding more revenue from the scheme, in line with what they would get from Visa and MasterCard. NETS is simply passing the cost on to merchants.
Unfortunately, the payment industry has focused so heavily on costs for so long that it is hard for many people to shift focus and provide substantial new value to merchants. This is also very true for Europe's national debit card monopolies, who could soon be struggling under similar market pressures as NETS.
See the full press release here, and my prior post on the subject here.