Visa Proposes Debit Interchange Deal with EC

May 3, 2010 

Visa Europe and the European Commission (EC) announced an agreement to reduce interchange fees the card network charges on both domestic and cross-border debit transactions. The EC said it accepted a Visa proposal to limit its domestic multilateral interchange fees and cross-border fees at 0.2 percent of the transaction value, according to statements from Visa Europe and the EC. Visa characterized the agreement as a step toward unifying electronic payments in Europe. “The proposed commitments on immediate debit interchange fees are an important step towards the achievement of Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) and the continued displacement of inefficient cash transactions in Europe,” said Peter Ayliffe, Visa Europe’s president and CEO. “It will provide much needed legal certainty to the industry and provides a mechanism for a revision to the average 0.2 percent rate if further data becomes available on the costs of different means of payment, including cash.” As part of the agreement the EC will end the antitrust investigation regarding Visa’s debit fees, but the investigation of its credit card fees is ongoing.