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EU: Retailers join forces against interchange fees

 |  December 18, 2013

Major UK retailers are calling upon the European Commission swipe-fees they deem “excessive” as the EU focuses on the issue.

Reports say major stores including Sainsbury’s, Boots and Morrisons – totaling more than a dozen conglomerate – signed a petition to the Commission ahead of its scheduled debate on swipe-fees, known as interchange fees, held this week. Such fees are charged by credit card companies in collaboration with major banks every time a consumer swipes a credit or debit card.

The Commission had previously planned to impose caps at .2 percent for debit cards and .3 percent for credit cards; in the UK such swipe-fees can reach as high as 2.5 percent.

Report say the retailers told the Commission that the current market “is highly competitive” and that the stores “compete on price and value every day…Any savings in a reduction in card interchange fees will create capital to enable a range of investments.”

The letter was sent just days after a federal judge in the US approved of a joint settlement totaling more than $5 billion offered by Visa and MasterCard to various US retailers for swipe-fee costs.

Full Content: Retail Week

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