Regulation Round-Up: Date Set for Fed Debit Meeting; Visa Europe/EU Reach Settlement

Debit card transaction fees dominated headlines Thursday around the payments world.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve made the long-awaited announcement that debit card transactions would be the topic of its Dec. 16 meeting. The board will debate a proposed cap of debit card transaction fees that could reduce card issuer income and improve retailers’ profits. The Durbin Amendment charges the Fed with setting interchange fees that are “reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the issuer.” The new legislation requires the Fed to reach a decision by April 21. (Read More)

In more regulation-related news, Visa Europe agreed to lower debit card transaction fees as part of its antitrust settlement with the European Union.

“Visa Europe Ltd., operator of the largest payment-card network in the 27-nation European Union… promised in April ‘to significantly cut’ fees to 0.2 percent of a purchase, the agency said in an e-mailed statement,” according to Bloomberg news.

The media outlet reports the company now plans to reduce transaction fees valued up to 20 billion euros ($26.5 billion) every year, and the new rate would reduce interchange fees concerned by less than 20 percent. Click here for more on reaction in Europe to the settlement.

The Visa Europe case isn’t the only payments issue on the EU’s mind these days. recently spoke with industry veteran Maria Carioca to explore What’s Next in Payments in Europe.

Back to Durbin and debit though, it’s the question that’s been hanging over the U.S. payments community for months now: What might the Fed’s decision be? turned to the experts for their predictions:

Tim Attinger (Former Global Head of Product Innovation and Development for Visa Inc.)

Tom Brown (Partner in O’Melveny’s San Francisco office, specializing in issues affecting the financial services industry)

Steve Cole (Former CEO of Cash Station)

Tom Durkin (Economist and former Federal Reserve Board director)

David S. Evans (Founder of Market Platform Dynamics)

Jason Kratovil (Independent Community Bankers Association)

Ron Mann (Professor of Law at Columbia University) also sat down with TCF Bank CEO William Cooper, whose company has filed a lawsuit claiming that the Durbin Amendment is unconstitutional. (Listen to interview)


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