jueves, 10 de abril de 2014

The Travel Retail Fair Payment Alliance (FPA) and its allies have moved closer to securing lower fees from banks and credit card companies after the latest vote on the matter in the European Parliament on 3 April.

A full plenary sitting of the European Parliament voted to adopt proposals seeking to cap interchange fees, regulate commercial cards and allow cross-border acquiring.

As previously reported, in February the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee (ECON) adopted reports by MEPs Pablo Zalba and Diogo Feio on the European Commission's ‘Payments Package', endorsing the industry’s long-running push for fairer transaction terms from credit card companies and banks.

Proposals of particular interest to travel retailers are the capping of consumer (and now commercial) credit card transactions at a maximum 0.3% and a cap on consumer and commercial debit cards at a maximum 0.2% or €0.07 per transaction, whichever is the lower.

Despite last minute moves to water down the proposals in favour of the banks and card schemes, MEPs adopted the ECON reports without meaningful amendment. This marks a significant step forward on behalf of the business, said the Travel Retail Fair Payment Alliance (FPA) – and underlines the soundness of the arguments tabled with European politicians and administrators by the FPA and its allies.

The Parliament's committee and first reading stage was the first critical hurdle for the reports in the drive to ensure they become law. They passed that phase with all the key elements supported by the FPA intact.

Now the proposals will be tabled with the EU Council of Ministers to adopt a common position. The Italian Presidency is expected to oversee that debate when it assumes the Council Presidency in July.

The FPA is calling on ministers to accept the findings of the Commission, along with the conclusions of the European Parliament to swiftly adopt these reports so the legislation can enter into EU law as soon as possible.

Jacques Parson, Chairman of Kappé International and FPA leader said: “This is wonderful news and I should like to thank those in the FPA network for their support. The Parliament has taken a bold step on behalf of us and our customers and I offer MEPs my congratulations and appreciation. Making these proposals law would drastically improve competition and conditions for all stakeholders in credit or debit transactions, both in-store and online. That is good for us and our customers.

“Now I call on all the industry's support. We must all work hard to ensure our governmental representatives at the Council of Ministers appreciate and understand why such European-wide legislation is necessary and needed urgently to promote a fairer, more competitive payments structure.”

Parson is also Chair of the Dutch Retail Federation's Payments Committee, as well as a EuroCommerce representative to the recently created European Retail Payments Board.

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