Mastercard issuers in the UK to pay retailers for cashback transactions

Mastercard issuers in the UK to pay retailers for cashback transactions

Mastercard is rolling out a service which will offer UK retailers a fee for processing cashback transactions over the counter, as part of an effort to stem the tide of criticism from politicians and consumer groups over the disappearance of ATMs and bank branches from the high street

Under the initiative, local shops and businesses will from April 2020 earn a fee of 12 pence every time they dispense cash to a shopper paying with a Mastercard debit card.

Mastercard says all of its debit card issuing partners will take part in the scheme, including:Clydesdale Bank, Metro Bank, Monzo, N26, Starling Bank, Virgin Money, Yorkshire Bank and starting later this year Santander.

The ongoing removal of bank branches and ATMs from Britain's high streets has led to a rowdy debate about the consequences for a disenfranchised segment of the populace - estimated to comprise eight million individuals - who would struggle to cope in a cashless society.

Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard in the UK, Ireland, Nordics and Baltics comments: “By leading this new cash back initiative we aim to encourage more shops to offer their customers the option of cash back at the point of sale. This isn’t a replacement for ATMs, but if we can add to the number of outlets where people can access cash, especially in areas without an ATM, it will be a valuable addition to the community for both consumers and local businesses.”

Comments: (7)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 September, 2019, 10:17Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

A worthy cause, but given that Visa are the biggest debit card issuer in the UK with over 90% of the debit market and consumers have little to no choice over whether their bank issues Visa or Mastercard, unless Visa follow suit, this seems like a hollow offer. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 September, 2019, 10:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'm surprised the retailers will automatically get 12p when all interchange (and in this case effectively reverse-interchange) and costs are negotiated with the acquirer. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 September, 2019, 10:27Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

For consumer cards the interchange fee is regulated. For other non regulated cards it's set by the card schemes and forms part of the overall merchant service charge paid by merchants. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 September, 2019, 08:451 like 1 like

Has the position of the retailer (particularly small retailers in villages and small towns where the bank has disappeared) been considered - are they expected to hold cash so that they can provide banking services?

Robin Setty
Robin Setty - ACI Worldwide (EMEA) Limited - Watford 13 September, 2019, 09:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Presumably Visa will follow?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 September, 2019, 11:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I wonder where 12p came from? Who decided that, on what basis and for how long? Will the full amount be given to the retailer or will the acquirer hold back some of it for them?

Lots of unanswered questions. I agree it would be better if Visa followed suit.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 September, 2019, 17:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

What about Cashback@POS against credit card payments? 10 years ago, my local ASDA store clerk would always ask "Cashback?" when I reached checkout and took out my credit card. (I never paid with debit card, so I don't know if Cashback@POS was a thing even with debit card payments).

Didn't retailers get any compensation for giving cashback on those instances?

On a side note, going by my personal experience, Cashback@POS did serve as ATM replacement many times. Not sure why MasterCard's Mark Barnett is somewhat defensive about this in his quote in the article. 

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