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Memorandum of Understanding about monitoring the IFR

Published 06 12 2018

We've signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sets out how we will work with other EU authorities to monitor the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR) and the Regulatory Technical Standards Regulation (RTS Regulation).

We are the main competent authority for the IFR in the UK and have a statutory duty to monitor compliance with Article 7(1)(a) of the IFR. This MoU will facilitate cooperation between the various competent authorities (CAs) in the EU to enable effective compliance monitoring.

A consistent approach across EU regulators is key to enable card schemes to organise their businesses effectively across the EU.

We’ll be monitoring our involvement in the MoU in light of ongoing EU withdrawal negotiations.

Article 7(1)(a) of the IFR

Article 7(1)(a) aims to promote competition in processing services with a view to reducing costs for card issuers, acquirers and merchants.

It applies to international payment card schemes. It requires the separation of two parts of their businesses: payment processing and the rest of the scheme’s activities. It sets out technical requirements (i.e. the RTS regulation) which must be complied with around separating accounting, organisation and decision-making processes.

Card schemes can only organise their businesses in one way across the EU, therefore EU regulators need to have a consistent approach to monitoring.