Last updated: November 2023
Card payments are critical to the smooth running of the UK economy. They are a popular way for people to pay for goods and services, and their use is growing.
For businesses to accept card payments, they need to buy card-acquiring services. The costs of these services may be reflected in the prices and services they offer to their customers.
We carried out a market review into card-acquiring services following concerns that the supply of these services may not be working well for businesses, and ultimately consumers. We published our final report setting out our findings in November 2021.
In January 2022, we consulted on a package of remedies to help businesses, and therefore also consumers, get the best deal possible; we published a provisional decision on these remedies in June. In October, we published our final decision confirming the changes we are making to improve card services and choice for businesses.
On 5 October 2023, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the Tribunal) ruled that that there is no statutory requirement or obligation on the PSR to withhold inspection of the material referred to its ruling as the “Rule 63 Material” (see  CAT 59 (the “Ruling”)). Subsequent to the Ruling, on 6 November 2023 the Tribunal ordered the PSR to disclose the confidential version of the final report entitled “Market review into the supply of card-acquiring services”, published on 3 November 2021, including all of its annexes (“PSR Final Report”); and the underlying econometric analyses and calculations used in the PSR Final Report into a confidentiality ring for the purposes of Trial 1 and Trial 2 in Case Nos: 1517/11/7/22 (UM) 1266/7/7/16 (the PSR Disclosure Order). The PSR is giving disclosure as directed by the Tribunal and in accordance with the PSR Disclosure Order and the Confidentiality Ring Order made on 17 November 2023.
On this page, you will find helpful links to documents and announcements associated with this market review.
Our final report on the supply of card-acquiring services - published 3 November 2021
Implementation advice for card-acquiring market remedies
Implementation advice for summary boxes, online quotation tools and trigger messages - Version 1 October 2022
Our consultation document on the draft terms of reference - published 24 July 2018
Our consultation document on our proposed pass through analysis - published 8 February 2019
Our consultation document on the approach to the merchant survey - published 22 May 2019
Our consultation document on our merchant survey questionnaire - published 5 July 2019
Our consultation document on our profitability analysis - published 11 July 2019
Pass-through disclosure in the market review into card-acquiring services - published 14 September 2020
Draft undertakings for the confidentiality ring used for pass-through disclosure - published 14 September 2020
Our market review into the supply of card-acquiring services: Interim report - published 15 September 2020
Merchant survey disclosure in the market review into card-acquiring services - published 27 November 2020
Our initial remedies consultation document for the card-acquiring market review - published 26 January 2022
Our provisional decision on remedies for the card-acquiring market review - published 29 June 2022
Responses to consultations
Responses to draft terms of reference - published 24 January 2019
Responses to proposed pass-through analysis - published 20 June 2019
Responses to proposed merchant survey - published 30 September 2019
Responses to our proposed profitability analysis - published 24 December 2019
Responses to our consultation on the merchant survey questionnaire - published 24 December 2019
Responses to initial remedies consultation - published 29 June 2022
Responses to provisional decision on remedies - published 06 October 2022
Final terms of reference: market review into the supply of card-acquiring services - published 24 January 2019
Final copy of the merchant survey questionnaire - published 24 December 2019
Final decision on remedies - published 06 October 2022
News and announcements related to the card-acquiring services market review
Payment Systems Regulator announces market review into card-acquiring services - published 24 July 2018
Matthew Cherry's speech for PSE Consulting Merchant Acquiring Conference - 14 November 2018
PSR update on its market review into the supply of card-acquiring services - published 11 December 2018
PSR confirms market review into card-acquiring services - published 24 January 2019
Update on publication of the interim report - published 22 July 2019
Update on our approach to the profitability analysis for our market review into card-acquiring services - published 18 September 2019
PSR announces provisional findings of card acquiring market review - published 15 September 2020
PSR publishes the final report for its card-acquiring market review - published 3 November 2021
PSR publishes remedies consultation for its card-acquiring market review - published 26 January 2022
PSR sets out plans to help UK retailers get better deals for card-acquiring services - published 29 June 2022
PSR finalises plans to help businesses save money on card services - published 06 October 2022
General submissions (other than in response to consultations)
General submissions received Q1 2019 - published 4 July 2019
General submissions received Q1 2020 - published 30 June 2020