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Market review into the supply of card-acquiring services

Last updated: 27 November 2020

We have been carrying out a market review into the supply of card-acquiring services and on this page, you will find links to the information we publish about this review.  

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 merchants to accept card payments, they need to buy card-acquiring services. The costs of these services may ultimately be reflected in the prices and services they offer to their customers.

We have been carrying out a market review into card-acquiring services following concerns that the supply of these services may not be working well for merchants, and ultimately consumers.

We published the draft terms of reference for our work in July 2018. We published final terms of reference in January 2019 taking account of the feedback we received.

On 15 September, we published our interim report on the supply of card-acquiring services which shows that merchants could make savings by shopping around and either switching or negotiating with their current provider – but many small and medium ones don’t. 

We are now consulting on the contents of our interim report and are keen to get feedback on the proposed remedies. The publication of the interim report will be followed by a consultation period of 12 weeks. The deadline for feedback is 8 December 2020.

After we have considered the feedback and discussed it further with stakeholders, we will finalise our findings and publish a Final Report in 2021.

On this page, you will find helpful links to documents and announcements associated with this market review.

Consultation documents

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

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

Final documents

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

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

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