Payments market: UK retailers welcome European Parliament vote



The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed a significant vote by MEPs in the European Parliament for a comprehensive overhaul of the European payments market.

The European Parliament has sent a clear message that the time for reform has come, including a cap on the excessive fees retailers' pay banks to process card payments (0.2 percent and 0.3 percent for debit and credit cards respectively) and removing restrictive rules which force retailers' to accept all cards irrespective of cost.

The Parliament's decision will undoubtedly benefit consumers and small businesses. As the most competitive sector, retail competes on price and value every day and a reduction in fees will create capital to invest in the consumer offer. It will also benefit small business who have invariably been paying the highest fees.

This is an important first step. It is now crucial that this decision acts as a mandate for the European Council to act swiftly to support reform. This also provides further substance to support rapid progress of the implementation of a UK domestic payment regulator.

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the BRC, said: "This is important and positive vote by European politicians. Retailers welcome a clear message that the time for change has come. This sends a strong signal to Council and the UK Government to support a more competitive payments system for the benefit of businesses and consumers."

Source: British Retail Consortium