SEPA threathened by EU interference warns MasterCard

While Mastercard welcomed the European Commission’s decision not to abolosh interchange fees, they accuse the competition commissioner Neelie Kroes of leaving the interchange debate “in a cloud of uncertainty that could deter further investment in SEPA initiatives”. According to MasterCard the uncertainty over interchange fees may deter banks from further investing in SEPA. As the Jan 1 2008 deadline to implement SEPA for the European banking system approaches, MasterCard said it needed a ‘clear green light’ from the commission on the interchange issue, ‘not a yellow one.’ Mastercard noted that abolishing or reducing interchange fees would damage the efficiency of the card payments network. President of MasterCard Europe, Javier Perez, said: ‘Zero or low-interchange fee schemes are often based on price regulation, cross-subsidisation or operating losses.’


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