Visa and MasterCard agree to cut French card fees

Visa and MasterCard agree to cut French card fees

Visa and MasterCard have agreed a deal with the French competition authority to slash their card interchange fees in the country by nearly half.

Under the deal, from 1 November both firms will charge merchants a maximum of 0.28% of the amount of the transaction to process a payment - a 49% reduction on MasterCard's current average and a 44% fall on Visa's charge.

The pair will also cap their charges for ATM withdrawals at 55 cents, down from 60 cents for MasterCard and 75 cents for Visa.

The arrangement brings Visa and MasterCard's fees broadly in line with Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, France's interbank network, which struck its own deal in 2011.

The deal also chimes with the EC's plans, set out in the summer, to cap fees for both cross border and domestic transactions.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, a judge has ruled that the US Federal Reserve's rules for debit-card fees will remain in place while the bank appeals a decision throwing them out.

In August US District Judge Richard Leon ruled that the Fed disregarded the intent of Congress by setting a cap on interchange fees for debit card transactions too high - at 21 cents rather than the 12 cent ceiling proposed in earlier consultations.

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