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Mastercard and Visa are unlawfully overcharging businesses for accepting credit and debit card payments on corporate cards and on consumer cards used by overseas visitors, both credit and debit. If your business accepts card payments, read on to find out what the commercial card claim is about, whether your business can claim, and if so, how you can join.

THE CLAIM AGAINST ANTI-COMPETITIVE MULTILATERAL INTERCHANGE FEES

Claims have been filed in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) against Mastercard and Visa for breaching competition law. The CAT is the UK’s specialist judicial body for competition law. The claims are brought on behalf of all businesses that accept card payments.

Whenever a customer, guest, or passenger pays a merchant by card, the merchant’s bank will pay a “Multilateral Interchange Fee” or “MIF” to the card-holder’s bank. The MIF makes up the largest part of the Merchant Service Charge, which the merchant’s bank will charge the merchant in return for the right to accept card payment.

The MIF is a percentage of the value of a transaction. The MIF, however, is not set unilaterally by banks in accordance with market competition. It is set by the card schemes, Mastercard and Visa, and imposed on banks as a condition of their participation in the scheme. The banks then pass on the charges to their customers. Since it is the merchant’s bank that pays the MIF, it is your bank that passes this charge to you or your business.

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In past EU and UK litigation, EU and UK MIFs were found to be anti-competitive, and therefore unlawful. The European Commission and the EU Court of Justice clamped down on consumer card interchange fees on an EEA and inter-regional basis, and the UK Supreme Court followed suit for UK consumer card interchange fees. However, there have been no court rulings yet of unlawfulness for MIFs on corporate cards, or for inter-regional MIFs on consumer debit and credit card transactions.

If the Tribunal agrees with our claim that these MIFs are also unlawful, and should be zero, that means businesses will have lost money and deserve to be compensated for the MIFs they have paid. Although the UK has left the EU, it is still possible to bring infringements of EU competition law in the English courts, for losses incurred up to and including the date of the UK’s departure from the EU, 31 December 2020.

That is why we are bringing this class action against Mastercard and Visa, aiming to compensate businesses for their past losses.

Our objectives in bringing this class action against Mastercard and Visa are: firstly, to seek damages plus interest for past losses suffered by businesses, and secondly, to end unlawful charges for the future.

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