On 29 June 2022, we published our Provisional Decision in relation to remedies following the card-acquiring market review (CAMR). 

What does the Provisional Decision cover? 

The Provisional Decision explains our conclusions from all the evidence we gathered following consultation on our initial proposed remedies earlier this year. 

We set out proposals for remedies which we have developed from our conclusions, specifically: 

  • Summary boxes containing bespoke key price and non-price information to be sent individually to each merchant and shown prominently in their online account which can be used alongside new online quotation tools to help merchants compare prices and other service features more efficiently. 
  • Trigger messages to prompt merchants to shop around and/or switch to be sent by providers of card-acquiring services to their merchant customers and shown prominently in their online account.  
  • A maximum duration of 18 months for Point of Sale (POS) terminal lease and rental contracts, and maximum 30 days’ notice after any renewal. 

The publication includes: 

  • A draft Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of the remedies proposed 
  • Directions to give effect to the proposed remedies  
  • Options for content for the summary information box and trigger messages 

Together, we consider that the proposed package of proposed remedies will be effective in addressing address the features of concern identified in the CAMR final report published last November. 

Why Does This Matter?

Every time somebody makes a card payment – for example, when buying their weekly groceries – the merchant uses card-acquiring services to accept the payment. These services are critical to the UK economy because they enable consumers and businesses to use their cards to pay for goods and services.  We want to make sure that the features of concern that we identified in the CAMR, such as a lack of transparency, over pricing and lengthy contracts for the leasing of POS terminal card readers, are tackled allowing merchants to shop around and make informed choices.  

Next steps 

We invite comments on our proposals, draft CBA and the draft Directions.  

We will issue a final remedies notice, if our findings support this, following completion of consultation on the provisional decision in the Autumn.   

Before implementing any remedies, we are conducting an assessment of any impacts pursuant to the Public Sector Equalities Duty (PSED) under the Equality Act 2010. We will publish details of this with our final remedies notice. 

Consultation submissions can be sent to cards@psr.org.uk. The deadline for responses to this document is 5pm on 10 August 2022. 

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