Mastercard and Visa agree to cut overseas card fees

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Mastercard and Visa have both agreed to cut their fees for tourists using their cards in the EU, after a long-running battle with the European Commission.

The credit card firms will now charge retailers around 40% less on non-EU credit and debit cards payments.

The European Commission said the deal would lead to “lower prices for European retailers to do business”.

Ultimately, the commission said this should lead to lower prices for tourists to the European Union.

The European Commission, which has waged a decades-long crackdown on payment and credit card fees, believes that so-called interchange fees – which the credit card firms charge businesses for accepting payments from consumers – result in higher prices for consumers.

Visa, the world’s largest payments network operator, and rival Mastercard, have proposed a 0.2% fee on non-EU debit card payments carried out in shops and a 0.3% fee on credit card payments, the Commission said late last year.

This would bring their fees in line with those charged for EU cards.