Response to European Commission proposals

Peter Ayliffe, President and CEO of Visa Europe said: “Secure, efficient, competitive and innovative electronic payments are crucial to the European economy. Payment cards provide huge benefits to consumers, retailers and the economy as a whole and we are concerned that these proposals will be detrimental to the innovation that will support European economic growth. There is little evidence to support the claims that these proposals will be beneficial to consumers.

“We recognise the Commission’s steps towards creating a level playing field for all current and future payment market participants but we believe they have fallen short of this goal by largely excluding three party schemes such as American Express, non-card E-and-M-commerce payment solutions and primarily focussing on four party card systems like Visa Europe.

“Further analysis of the detail of the documents is now needed and we will continue to engage with the Commission, the European Parliament and Member States during the legislative process to ensure the interests of European consumers and all stakeholders are properly represented.”

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 36 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

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