We have set out the next stage for our two market reviews into card fees, on scheme and processing fees and cross-border interchange fees. Here, we set out the details of our final market review of cross-border interchange fees  

Cards are the most popular way for consumers to make a payment. To accept card payments, businesses 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 businesses, and ultimately consumers, get a good deal. 

The final Terms of Reference (ToR) are an important step in our investigations, setting out clearly the work we will undertake and an indicative timeline on key milestones. We have set out an ambitious timetable, which depends on constructive and timely engagement from Visa, Mastercard and other stakeholders. 

Cross-border interchange fees refer to the interchange fees on cross-border consumer transactions between the UK and EEA. Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU at the end of 2020, the EU IFR no longer applies to UK domestic and cross-border transactions between the UK and EEA. Shortly after EU withdrawal, Mastercard and Visa increased interchange fees for card-not-present (CNP) transactions using consumer debit and credit cards from 0.2% and 0.3% to 1.15% and 1.5% respectively. 

The aim of the cross-border interchange fee market review is to understand the rationale behind the increases in interchange fee (IF) rates for Mastercard and Visa’s consumer debit and credit card-not-present (CNP) transactions between the UK and the EEA. We also want to understand the impact these increases may have on UK services users. We expect to publish our interim findings in the second half of 2023 and our final report by the end of 2023. 

What this document contains and who should read it

The documents confirm our scope, approach and timeline and are relevant to various individuals or groups with an interest in using or making card payments, in particular issuers, acquirers, schemes, merchants and cardholders where cardholder is not present (such as payments made by phone or online).  

What happens next 

We will continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders as we progress our investigations, through further updates, publications, and consultations. 

The Cross-border Interchange Fees market review team welcome further views and evidence that will help inform our work.  

You can email us at cardfees@psr.org.uk or write to us at: 

Payment Systems Regulator  

12 Endeavour Square   


E20 1JN 

Related Publications

Share this page: