Visa, Mastercard propose merchants' tourist card fee cut to end EU probe

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Visa and Mastercard have offered to cut merchants' charges for non-EU credit and debit cards by at least 40 percent to end an EU antitrust investigation, part of a decades-long crackdown by the European Commission against such fees.

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The EU competition enforcer said interchange fees in which the merchant's bank pays a charge to the cardholder's bank which then subsequently passes on the cost to the merchant, result in higher consumer prices.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
VVISA INC.135.09-2.45-1.78%
MAMASTERCARD INCORPORATED195.33-3.63-1.82%

Visa, the world's largest payments network operator, and No. 2 player Mastercard have proposed a 0.2 percent fee on debit card payments carried out in shops and a 0.3 percent fee on credit card payments, the Commission said on Tuesday.

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For online payments, debit card charges would be 1.15 percent and 1.50 percent for credit cards. The case affects foreign tourists using their cards in the 28-country bloc.

Third parties have a month to provide feedback before the Commission decides whether to accept the offer or demand a bigger fee reduction. Reuters reported on the offer from Visa and Mastercard last month.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Edmund Blair)

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