EU regulators voted overwhelmingly in favor (621 to 26) of placing a fee cap on consumer cards, which once implemented the new rules could reduce fees of about €6b each year in hidden fees for credit and debit card users. Only third-party card schemes, such as American Express, will not be impacted by the new regulation.
The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill to cap the interchange fees charged by card schemes for payments using credit and debit cards. The European Commission welcomed the outcome, estimating that the rules when implemented could lead to a reduction of about €6 billion annually in hidden fees for consumer cards. The Regulation, which will come into force in October, will cap interchange fees at 0.2% of the transaction value for consumer debit cards and at 0.3% for consumer credit cards. For consumer debit cards, it also gives flexibility to Member States to define lower percentage caps and impose maximum fee amounts. It additionally addresses licensing issues and other conditions that it says have restricted the freedom of choice of retailers.