EuroCommerce, which represents the retail sector across Europe, has welcomed the announcement that Visa and MasterCard have committed to bringing transactions on debit and credit cards issued outside the EU in line with those of EU-issued cards.
As part of the commitment, fees on cards issued outside the EU will be capped to the same rates as cards issued within the EU (maximum 0.2% for debit, 0.3% for credit cards).
"We have been pressing for some years for the removal of the often very large difference between what a merchant is charged for accepting a card issued in the EU and one from outside," said Christian Verschueren, director general of EuroCommerce.
"These changes are a welcome step forward and will help shops and others gain more transparency than hitherto, where they only knew exactly how much they would be charged when the bill arrived," Verschueren added.
Making A Distinction
EuroCommerce acknowledges that while the move is a positive one, it could have gone further, expressing that where the commitments fall short is in the distinction they make between a transaction where the cardholder is present and where the card is used online or over the telephone. No such distinction is made for cards issued within the EU.
"The commitments given will be helpful, and we are glad that the Commission and card schemes have reached this agreement," said Verschueren, "but it is only a first step away from a situation where fees for non-EU cards were totally non-transparent and far too high.
"We ask that, as part of the review of the regulation currently under way, the Commission propose a full alignment of these fees with those for cards issued in the EU, and whether purchases are made in a store or online. We also ask to include commercial cards in the scope of the regulation," he added.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.