Visa lowers card fees in EU antitrust probe

Visa has agreed to reduce some credit card fees. This move comes almost a year after the European Commission told Visa its inter-bank fees might violate EU antitrust rules.  So now the fees that banks charge each other to process credit card transactions across the internal borders of the European Union are lowered.

Visa Europe now wants to charge no more than 0.3 per cent (a reduction of about 40 to 60 percent) of a retail transaction for credit card interchange fees that a consumer’s bank levies on a merchant’s bank. The proposed settlement will probably put some pressure on MasterCard to also lower their fees.

The European commissioner for competition, Joaquín Almunia, calls Visa’s move ‘excellent news’. “Given the importance of card payments for European consumers and businesses across the single market, putting an end to restrictions of competition in inter-bank arrangements is a key priority for the Commission. Visa’s decision is a major step forward in that direction.”