A committee of MEPs has voted for a cap on debit and credit card fees imposed on retailers for processing shoppers’ payments.
Banks’ card payment fees cost EU retailers more than €10m each year, according to European Commission figures. The fees are not transparent and differ between EU member states, where they are decided on by national competition authorities.
For credit card transactions, MEPs on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee have backed proposals to cap the bank’s fee at 0.3% of the transaction value. For debit card transactions, the committee backs a cap of seven cents, or 0.2% of the transaction value, whichever is the lower.
Credit card transactions cost UK retailers an average of 1.04% per transaction, while debit card transactions cost them an average of 0.32%, according to a 2012 British Retail Consortium survey of its members.
Association of Convenience Stores public affairs director, Shane Brennan, said: “We support the merchant fee cap and welcome the support shown by MEPs although we would like to see further and faster action to remove unfair practices like the use of premium cards that impose higher fees on retailers but have to be accepted under ‘honour all cards’ rules.”
The cap would apply to both cross-border and domestic transactions in the EU and would take effect a year after the rules come into force.
The committee vote consolidates the European Parliament’s position. The rules will be put to vote by a full house at one of the upcoming parliamentary sessions.