European interchange fees may be lowered, says Visa

Previously, this blog noted the possibly contentious role of fee regulations in credit card processing plans, specifically in a recent instance in which the European Union investigated Visa Europe in regard to its interchange fees. Now, the credit card company appears to be offering something of an olive branch in the form of a reduction of these fees. This could be a signal of the eventual resolution of this conflict, though it is of course no guarantee and will only become especially clear after the passage of some time.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the proposed cuts are in response to the increased attentions of antitrust investigations, and could potentially cut the rate of fees somewhere in the range of 60 percent if the European Commission decides to accept them after a period of some deliberation. A main complaint about the existent interchange fees is that they make business difficult for competitors and consumers alike.  

Antitrust commissioner Joaquín Almunia has expressed gratitude at this development and hope that it may lead to more equal means of operating in the region.

"Putting an end to restrictions of competition in interbank arrangements is a key priority for the commission," he said. "The decision by Visa is a major step forward in that direction."

Negotiating the difficulties felt by card company practices can be a part of the many difficult tasks that business owners find themselves called upon to deal with, and it isn't always clear how best to do so. Securing the use of a trusted card payment processor can help reduce uncertainty in this area.     

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