In a resounding victory for the merchant community, the UK Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the Court of Appeals’ previous ruling: concluding that the interchange fees set by Visa and Mastercard restricted competition in the payments industry.
With the merchants succeeding on all major issues, this leaves very little room for manoeuvre for the global schemes, Visa and Mastercard.
After years of economic and legal battle, this is a ground-breaking triumph for the merchant community – with retailers operating in the UK now having the opportunity to lodge their own claims against high interchange rates. This would be extremely welcome news at any time: but after many retailers have suffered significant revenue damage through the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential for a substantial cash boost will be more welcome than ever.
The ruling was passed down by the UK Supreme Court – however, there are clear ramifications for merchants in the U.S., and across the globe, who have also been subject to high interchange fees.
While the court’s legal ruling is clear, its now down to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to quantify the extent of merchants’ losses – and therefore the level of interchange that can now be reclaimed.
CMSPI estimates that merchants in the UK have paid over €17 billion in interchange fees since 2013 - that number rises to €51bn if mainland European retailers take action. We now eagerly await the CAT’s decision on the pass-through benefits of interchange, and how much of the claim merchants are entitled to.
For merchants who have yet to claim: there’s still chance! CMSPI is supporting over 50 of the UK’s biggest retailers to calculate and substantiate the value of their claims – ensuring they have the evidence required to achieve a full rebate. To find out about the process, and the complexities of calculating the quantum for the claim, email George Willis, Head of Business Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)161 300 8767