Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Monday, December 12, 2011

Interchange fees in card payments

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ann Borestam (European Central Bank) and Heiko Schmiedel (European Central Bank) describe Interchange fees in card payments.

ABSTRACT: The present paper explores issues surrounding multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) in payment card markets from various angles. The Eurosystem’s public stance on interchange fees is neutral. However, the Eurosystem takes a keen interest in facilitating a constructive dialogue among the stakeholders involved in this debate. Transparency and clarity with respect to the real costs and benefi ts of different payment instruments are indispensable for a modern and harmonised European retail payments market. Interchange fees (if any) should be set at a reasonable level so as to promote overall economic efficiency in compliance with competition rules.

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