European consumers worried about EU Payments Legislation

Friday 14 February 2014 10:34 CET | News

European consumers are concerned that the EU legislation draft currently under discussion would make paying with cards more expensive and more complicated.

A recent poll in 13 European countries indicates that 2 in 3 consumers believe that proposals to cap interchange fees would make it worse for them to use their bank cards and 8 in 10 people do not expect retailers to pass on any cost savings through lower prices.

Results also point out that 65% of consumers fear that inflexible caps on interchange fees would leave them worse off in terms of using cards. An even higher number (82%) believe that retailers would not pass on any cost savings from a reduction in their contribution to the costs of the electronic payments system.

The survey also reveals that consumers are especially critical of a proposed rule that would give retailers the right to decide which specific cards they will or will not accept. Breaking up the so-called “Honour All Cards Rule” would deprive consumers of the number one quality they look for in payment cards – the certainty they can use it wherever they go around the world. Research shows that 8 in 10 consumers (77%) across Europe felt this measure would make using bank cards worse for them. Similarly, 60% are concerned that proposals to allow for multiple logos on the same card would have negative impact on consumers.

MasterCard has consistently expressed its concern that the proposed caps would drive the cost of cards up for consumers. This concern is based on recent practical experience from countries like Spain, where legislation to cap interchange fees resulted in cardholder fees increasing by over 50% and no evidence of retailers passing on savings through lower prices. It also stems from the absence of any justification for fixing the same fees across over 30 countries where market conditions vary considerably.

The survey carried out by IPSOS on behalf of MasterCard, looked at consumer views on European Commission proposals to set caps on interchange fees (retailers contribution to the electronic payments systems) and introduce a series of measures that would impact the use of payment cards.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: payments legislation, Europe, interchange fees, card payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce