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Visa Europe Challenges Debit Card Fee Ruling

Visa Europe Monday announced it will appeal the European Union’s decision to reject changes to the 2010 cap on debit card transaction fees, also known as interchange fees. Visa Europe agreed to reduce debit card transaction fees paid by retailers in 2010 as part of a settlement pushed by EU antitrust regulators.

According to Visa, the commission’s ruling violated the EU’s own Charter of Fundamental Rights by not allowing the company, “the opportunity to effectively make known its views on the relevant facts.” Furthermore, Visa states that the commission committed serious errors in its assessments of the evidence provided to the Europe’s second-highest court.

The debate over interchange fees has dominated debate in the payments industry for the past few years as regulatory changes in both the United States (the Durbin Amendment) and Europe have forced the rates to go down, to the benefit of retailers. Whether Visa’s appeal will succeed is uncertain, however one can predict with certainty this is not the last time interchange fees will come up for discussion.

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