The European Commission has accepted an offer by Visa and Mastercard to significantly reduce the fee European retailers need to pay to the cardholder’s bank when a tourist or online shopper makes a payment using a credit card issued outside the bloc. Known as Inter-regional interchange fees or inter-regional MIFs, these fees will now be reduced by an average of 40 percent.
Commenting on the decision, commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: “The commitments, which are now binding on Visa and Mastercard, will reduce the costs borne by retailers for accepting payments with cards issued outside the EEA. This, together with our January 2019 decision on Mastercard's cross-border card payment services, will lead to lower prices for European retailers to do business, ultimately to the benefit of all consumers”.
The European Commission is the first competition authority in the world to intervene on inter-regional MIFs.