23 May

European Commission - Merchant Payments Acceptance Survey

You’ll be aware that ABTA has done a lot of work on payment card charges following the introduction on 6 April 2013 of new rules.

Deloitte, on behalf of the European Commission, has asked that their survey on the usage of various payment means be forwarded to Members encouraging them to participate.
Merchants incur considerable costs in processing the payments made in their stores, online or over the phone, be they by cash, card or other means of payment.  Improving the efficiency of the European payments market is an important policy goal of European public authorities. Among others, card payment fees have been increasingly scrutinized by regulatory and competition authorities in Europe. In particular, the multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) charged by a cardholder’s bank to a merchant’s bank for POS transactions made with a card have been the subject of several anti-trust investigations.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition is seeking to collect data for assessing claims in competition law enforcement proceedings based on the merchant indifference test (MIT) methodology. The MIT aims at identifying a MIF level which ensures that the cost borne by merchants for accepting cards does not exceed the transactional benefits that they derive from card usage. Merchants derive transactional benefits if card payments reduce their cost relative to alternative payment means.

The Commission is therefore seeking to collect more information on the payments market, in particular on the usage of various payment means in the retail sector. The Commission has selected Deloitte to carry out a survey in 10 EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden). The survey targets merchants active in the retail trade and services sectors.

The results of the survey will support the Commission's analysis of the use of different payment instruments and its anti-trust investigations of the fees charged by the various payment schemes. The Commission suggests it might help towards a reduction in the cost of payments.

Members are encouraged to participate in the online survey which consists of 14 questions. It’s likely that Members will have the requested information readily available, in which case responding to the survey should take about 15-30 minutes. The questions deal mainly with the annual number and value of payments processed, for the various payment means that your company accepts.
Deloitte undertakes to treat the information in the strictest confidence and will not make use of it or divulge it to third parties, except to the Commission.

The survey can be found at http://dexsurvey.deloitte.com/?xid=49993.  Follow “First Time Users”.

Thank you for your assistance.