Last updated: May 2024

Cards are the most popular way for consumers to make a payment. To accept card payments, merchants must pay certain fees which can ultimately impact the cost we all pay for goods and services. We want to understand whether card payments are working well and to make sure that merchants, and ultimately consumers, get a good deal. 

Scheme fees are those charged by scheme operators to participate in the scheme, while processing fees are those charged for the authorisation, clearing and settlement of payments.

In our card-acquiring market review (CAMR), we found that the scheme fees paid by acquirers had increased significantly from 2014 to 2018. Further feedback from stakeholders also highlights that scheme fees have continued to increase since then. The PSR wants to understand whether the markets in connection with scheme and processing fees are working well. Our work in this area is examining the levels, structure and types of scheme and processing fees, building on the PSR’s CAMR findings. 

Since announcing work in November 2021, we’ve been gathering information and have determined that a detailed market review, using our powers under FSBRA, is needed. We will assess the information we receive  in the review, which will then inform any decisions on the steps we might need to take to promote effective competition or to address any harm. The reviews focus on Mastercard and Visa as these two card payment system operators account for 99% of debit and credit card payments in the UK.   

We have now published our interim report.

You can find the latest announcements and publications related to the market review below: 


Press releases and thought pieces