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July 25, 2018

UK payments watchdog to review card acquiring market

The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is set to carry out a market review of the card acquiring services to ensure effective competition and pricing.

In order to accept card payments, merchants have to purchase card acquiring services. The costs incurred by retailers for these services could in turn impact the prices they charge for products and services offered to their customers.

PSR plans to analyse the nature and characteristics of the card acquiring services, entities offering the services and their market shares development background, as well as the approach merchants use to buy such services.

The regulator is also concerned about credible alternatives to the services available for merchants, along with results from the competitive process including fees paid by merchants and the quality of service.

However, these are draft terms of reference for the review, which is open for consultation till 14 September 2018.

PSR managing director Hannah Nixon said: “With more and more of us using our payment cards to make purchases, we want to make sure that retailers that accept card payments can access card-acquiring services that are competitive, offer value for money and are innovative – working in both their interests and consumers’ interests too.

“This is about making sure that payment systems work well for everyone, and we will look to make changes if we think improvements should be made.”

Last year, the UK registered 13.2 billion debit card payments and another 3.1 billion transactions using credit card.

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