Payments consultancy CMSPI is raising a complaint with the European Commission over changes Visa is making to its fees, claiming the card scheme's actions could cost small businesses in Europe more than EUR2 billion a year.
This month, Visa restructured the fees it levies for processing credit and debit card transactions, adding a new per-item charge.
This, says CMSPI, will hit merchants, such as fast food outlets and convenience stores, which have low average transaction values. In fact, the firm claims that some will see fees increase by over 100%.
The latest move, says CMSPI, comes after Visa last year inflated the percentage element of its fees, increasing costs for merchants with a high average transaction value.
CMSPI argues that both moves set a worrying precedent in the wake of Visa's 2017 acquisition of Visa Europe last year, signalling a move towards a US-style charging structure.
Brendan Doyle, CEO, CMSPI, says: "This is incredibly disappointing. Visa, a multinational that consistently reports profit margins in excess of 50% on multi-billion-dollar revenues, is piling cost after cost onto retailers and the latest change will be particularly hard on struggling small businesses."