Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed reports that the European Commission is considering a cap on the fees charged by Service Providers for the processing of Credit and Debit card transactions.

Martina Anderson said:

“Reports that the European Commission is considering placing upper limits of charges that Service Providers can impose for Credit and Debit card transactions would be a welcome development in the present economic climate where the trend always seems to be on maximising profits with no consideration for consumers.

“A ceiling being placed on charges on all consumer debit and credit card transactions would signal a change in direction that would be of benefit to consumers. They are additional to interest payments and normally charged to the retailer for the ‘privilege’ of being able to accept cards in lieu of cash. These transaction fees are, therefore, a largely hidden cost to transactions made through the use of credit and debit cards and invariably contribute to increased cost of goods.

“They are an obviously lucrative revenue stream for payment providers like Visa and Mastercard, who will do whatever possible to counteract such measures. It is therefore important that as this proposal progresses, that parallel measures are taken to ensure that alternative charges are not introduced or present charges increased so that the Providers can recoup any reduction in transaction revenue. The consumer must be protected from the market forces demand for increased profits and dividends for investors.”