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EU: Commission takes new swipe at Visa, MasterCard interchange fees

 |  July 17, 2013

The European Commission plans to cap interchange fees at .2 percent in a proposal that would resolve a decade-long fight against the charges, which place fees on retailers every time a customer swipes a debit or credit card at the register. News outlets, which obtained the draft proposal, said the Commission will look to cap the fees at .2 percent for debit card purchases and .3 percent for credit cards; further, the regulator will implement the caps for cross-boarder transactions, but extend the fee limitations for domestic purchases after two years, say reports. According to the proposal, the caps would facilitate the “achievement of an effectively functioning internal market” for payments cards. The regulator will reportedly make the proposal public on July 24, though the reforms remain subject to approval by government officials before official implementation. Both Visa Europe and MasterCard declined to comment on the matter; regulators are currently reviewing a proposed settlement by Visa regarding the swipe fees. Similarly, Visa and MasterCard have offered a major settlement worth $7.25 billion in the US over interchange fees. The offer has garnered much criticism from many major retailers, however, which have collectively rejected the offer and even sued the credit card giants over the fees last month.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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