Today, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published its plans on how it proposes to carry out two market reviews focusing on card fees with a focus on Mastercard and Visa. One review looks at scheme and processing fees, and the other looks at cross-border interchange fees.
The PSR is carrying out the review on scheme and processing fees because its card-acquiring market review found that the fees paid by acquirers had increased significantly from 2014 to 2018 and have continued to increase since then. Cross-border interchange fees have also increased significantly in the last year and in particular, where the cardholder is not present (such as payments made by phone or online). Also, since Brexit, Visa and Mastercard have increased their these fees five-fold. As such, the PSR wants to understand the rationale behind these increases and whether they are an indication that the market is not working well. The PSR wants to promote effective competition and address any harm to make sure that consumers are getting a good deal.
The draft terms of reference for the market reviews are open for consultation until Tuesday 2 August 2022.