MEPs are expected to back on Thursday (20 February) a European Commission proposal to regulate credit and debit card companies, and to impose caps on certain card fees. However, they are likely to shy away from the major revisions of the proposal advocated by Pablo Zalba Bidegain, the centre-right Spanish MEP leading Parliament’s response to the proposal.
A compromise currently being negotiated between MEPs could preserve the Commission’s proposed cap on the hidden credit card fees charged by card companies such as Mastercard and Visa to retailers for each transaction. The Commission had proposed capping these at 0.3% of the total purchase price.
Bas Eickhout, a Dutch Green MEP, and Sophia in ’t Veld, a Dutch liberal MEP, are pushing for MEPs to abolish similar fees for transactions using debit cards, for which the Commission had proposed a cap of 0.2%.
The Commission also proposed allowing card-issuers to ‘co-badge’, meaning that they could place both Mastercard and Visa on the same card. Zalba favours scrapping the rule, though other MEPs support it.
Although Zalba has been “flexible”, according to fellow MEPs, a number of points are likely to remain unresolved and will therefore be put to the vote in the committee on economic and monetary affairs.