The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed a landmark vote by MEPs in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee for a comprehensive overhaul of the European payments market. The Committee has sent a clear message that the time for reform has come by imposing a maximum cap at 0.2% and 0.3% respectively for consumer debit and credit cards. MEPs also voted for the abolition of the ‘honour all cards rule’ which forces retailers to accept all cards irrespective of cost.
The Committee’s decision will undoubtedly benefit consumers and small businesses. As the most competitive sector, retail competes on price and value every day and a reduction in fees will create capital to invest in the consumer offer. It will also benefit small business who have invariably been paying the highest fees.
This is an important first step and it is now imperative the European Parliament supports in plenary the vote made in Committee. This decision must also act as a mandate for the Council to act swiftly to support reform and provides further substance to support rapid progress of the implementation of a UK domestic payment regulator.
Tom Ironside, Director of Business and Regulation at the BRC, said, “This is an incredibly positive vote by European politicians. Retailers welcome a clear message that the time for change has come. This sends a strong signal to the rest of Parliament and Council to support a more competitive payments system for the benefit of businesses and consumers.”