EU forces Visa and MasterCard to cut card fees

A credit card user displays her cards in Washington on February 22, 2010. — Reuters pic
A credit card user displays her cards in Washington on February 22, 2010. — Reuters pic

BRUSSELS, April 29 — The European Union will oblige credit card giants Visa and MasterCard to reduce their fees for payments on transactions involving cards issued outside the bloc, Brussels said today.

The US-based firms had already committed to reduce their “inter-regional exchange fees”, but this week’s decision makes the promise legally binding under EU anti-trust laws.

“This, together with our January 2019 decision on Mastercard’s cross-border card payment services, will lead to lower prices for European retailers to do business,” EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

According to the European Commission, the fees charged when Visa and MasterCard holders from outside the EU spend on the continent — which had been higher than for cards issued in member states — will be cut by an average of 40 per cent. — AFP