BRUSSELS, Belgium - European regulators say MasterCard must drop
fees it charges for cross-border transactions or face daily fines.
The European Commission says fees charged to consumers for
payments made in a different European country, with either
MasterCard credit cards or Maestro debit cards, unfairly inflate
costs for retailers.
E-U competition commissioner Neelie Kroes is also warning Visa
she will re-open a probe into its fees in the new year.
Kroes says consumers risk paying twice for payment cards: once
through annual fees to their bank and a second time through
inflated retail prices paid not only by card users but also by
customers paying cash.
Europeans make more than 23 (b) billion card payments every year
worth nearly two (t) trillion dollars.
MasterCard's crossborder interchange fees, introduced in 1992,
range from 0.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent of each transaction.
The money is kept by the customer's bank and charged to retailer
banks - which then pass on some of that cost to retailers.
(The Associated Press)
mcw (from Broadcast News Ltd.)