The European Commission today agreed to accept proposed commitments from Visa Europe on its multilateral interchange rate for intra-regional, immediate debit transactions in the European Economic Area, according to Visa Europe. In exchange, the European Commission will end proceedings on Visa’s immediate debit interchange fees.

Under the proposed commitments, Visa Europe will cap its weighted average intra-regional interchange rate for immediate debit transactions at 0.2% of the sale for four years. The same cap will apply to domestic immediate debit rates that defaulted to the intra-regional multilateral interchange rate before March 10, 2009, and continue to do so, and to domestic immediate debit rates Visa Europe sets directly.

“The proposed commitments on immediate debit interchange fees are an important step towards the achievement of Single Euro Payment Area and the continued displacement of inefficient cash transactions in Europe,” Visa Europe President and CEO Peter Ayliffe noted in a statement “It will provide much needed legal certainty to the industry and provides a mechanism for a revision to the average 0.2% rate if further data becomes available on the costs of different means of payment, including cash. I am satisfied that these commitments will lead to the establishment.”

The proposed commitments relate to the multilateral interchange rates for immediate debit transactions only and do not affect credit, deferred debit or commercial rates, Ayliffe says.

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