As part of our card scheme and processing fees market review, we are calling for evidence on initial stakeholder feedback that we have received on the competitive constraints that Mastercard and Visa face when setting these fees.

Why are we publishing this document?  

Through our market review, we want to understand whether the supply of scheme and processing services is working well, with regards to our statutory objectives of competition, innovation and service-user interests.  

As part of that work, we are looking at how competition is working in that market, and how this impacts the fees that Mastercard and Visa set.  

What does this document contain? 

In this paper, we outline four themes that we have observed based on initial views from stakeholders around the competitive constraints Mastercard and Visa face. These themes are:  

  • The intensity of competition and innovation in the payments ecosystem  
  • Differences in the competitive dynamics on the issuing and acquiring sides of the market 
  • The impact of transparency on competitive pressure at all levels of the value chain   
  • The must-take status of Mastercard- and Visa-branded cards (in many retail environments) 

These themes are intended to stimulate further discussion and debate. We are looking to hear from more stakeholders on these areas over the coming weeks to help with our ongoing analysis of the market.  

Who should read this document? 

This document is relevant to various individuals or organisations with an interest in making, receiving or processing card payments - in particular, issuers, acquirers, schemes, merchants and cardholders.  

What happens next? 

We welcome responses to the questions set out throughout this paper. You can provide your comments to us until 5pm on Tuesday 11 April 2023

We’re also planning opportunities for stakeholders to engage with us during the consultation. Further details of the engagement events will be shared in due course. 

All views and evidence gathered will help to inform the interim report of our scheme and processing fees market review. Publication of the Interim report is currently planned for Q4 2023. The final terms of reference for our market review includes an ambitious timetable setting out in more detail the stages of our work.   

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