Visa agrees to cap its fees to stave off competition probe

City A.M. Reporter
VISA Europe, the European licensee of Visa, has offered to cap its inter-bank credit card fees at the same level as rival MasterCard to end a European Union antitrust investigation and avoid a possible fine.

Visa Europe, owned and operated by more than 3,700 European member banks, came under fire last year when the European Commission said its fees harmed competition between banks and led to higher consumer prices.

Its credit and debit cards account for about 41 per cent of all payment cards issued in Europe, making it the largest card network in the European Union.

The Commission said yesterday that the proposed cut meant Visa Europe would charge 0.3 per cent of the value of each transaction – about 40-60 per cent lower than the current rate.