Visa Raises Interchange Fees for UK Card Holders Beginning October 2021

April 9, 2021

Following Mastercard’s lead, Visa is currently on track to increase interchange fees on goods and services purchased by British customers from across Europe.

Four thousand of its clients will be informed of the 1.5% online credit card payment hike, due to take place on cross-border transactions between the UK and EU beginning in October.

Visa additionally plans to raise so-called “scheme fees” on UK-EU payments while charging more for domestic payments via British company credit cards.

With the move to cashless and ecommerce accelerating, it’s vital that small business and consumer sentiment isn’t stifled by rising card costs, just as we’re trying to bounce back from a severe recession

Craig Beaumont, Chief of External Affairs at the External of Small Business

And while Brussels has capped the interchange fees for all transactions inside the EU since 2015, the UK’s departure in January signifies an end to the applicable limit between Britain and the bloc.

By The Numbers

In October, Visa will charge 1.5% on online and over-the phone credit card payments between UK and EU, and 1.15% for debit card transactions, up from the original rates of 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.

The Visa post-Brexit fee increases are likely to hit a larger swath of companies compared to Mastercard’s earlier rate increase in January. Fears have raised over the impact these costs will have on UK consumers, who are certain to face higher prices for online purchases.

Mastercard dealt with extensive criticism for applying its higher fees on transactions where a British card was used to buy from an EU-based vendor. Visa’s changes will similarly apply to British companies marketing to the EU, according to those briefed on the plans.

Both Visa and Mastercard have stressed that neither directly benefits from the higher interchange fees, which are instead being used to fund new products and combat fraud. 

Behind the October implementation of increased interchange fees is the July 2022 scheme fee increase. By April 2022, the rise in interchange fees, including corporate credit cards, will add costs to companies in travel who now rely on business spending after being hard hit by the pandemic.

For additional information on Visa and Mastercard’s latest UK interchange fees, click here.  

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