MasterCard under fire from EU over tourist payment card fees

MASTERCARD is under investigation by the European Union over the level of fees tourists to the EU are charged when using cards to make purchases, which the EU competition regulator said may hamper cross-border trade.

The EU watchdog yesterday said that MasterCard’s fees were a concern in view of the growing role of non-cash payments.

“Fees charged for payments made by cardholders from non-European countries can be quite high. Actually, these types of fees are generally much higher than those charged [on tourists from] within Europe,” Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani said.

The world’s second-largest credit and debit card network after Visa has already been banned by EU antitrust regulators from charging cross-border card fees within Europe after a Commission ruling in 2007.

The latest investigation will also examine some of the company’s other business practices in the EU which the regulator said could hinder e-commerce and cross-border trade. MasterCard said it was co-operating.

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