Measures to cap the costs retailers face when processing debit and credit cards have been given the go ahead in Brussels.
The EU will limit the ‘interchange fees’ charged by banks to card providers such as Visa and Mastercard to 0.2% on debit cards and 0.3% on credit cards.
At present, Visa typically charges around 8p per debit card transaction and 0.77% of the transaction value for consumer credit cards. MasterCard typically charges 7p to 11p per MasterCard and Maestro debit card transaction, 0.8% of transaction value for ‘standard’ consumer credit cards, and 1.05% to 1.5% for ‘premium’ consumer credit cards.
Welcoming the measures, Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “We have been working with our partners in the EU for some time now on capping interchange fees. We are pleased that the European Parliament has backed these regulations, which will save the convenience sector millions and make the card charges that retailers face much more manageable”.
MEPs voted in favour of the deal by a margin of 621 to 26. The cap applies to both cross-border and domestic card-based payments, which cost businesses across the EU around €10bn a year. The text must be approved by the European Council, and the regulations are likely to come into force by autumn 2015.