ABOUT THE CLAIM
Harcus Parker is bringing a class action lawsuit against Mastercard and Visa on behalf of merchants accepting payments using UK corporate cards, and credit and debit cards from overseas visitors. The case, which is being filed in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, seeks compensation for businesses which were charged Multilateral Interchange Fees by their banks on Mastercard and Visa transactions. We say that the Multilateral Interchange Fees are unlawful as they were set by the card schemes themselves, rather than by market competition.
Whenever a customer, guest, or passenger pays a merchant by card, the merchant’s bank will pay a ‘Multilateral Interchange Fee’ to the card-holder’s bank. The Multilateral Interchange Fee makes up the largest part of the ‘Merchant Service Charge’, which the merchant’s bank will charge the merchant in return for the right to accept card payment.
Since 2015, UK law has capped the level of Multilateral Interchange Fees at 0.3 percent on consumer credit transactions, and 0.2 percent for consumer debit card transactions. This cap did not apply to corporate and debit cards, or for inter-regional transactions. The average corporate card Multilateral Interchange Fee rate is around 1.6 percent, and consumer inter-regional card Multilateral Interchange Fee rate around 1.8 percent, but we say the correct level in both cases should be zero. This means that for every £100 transaction, up to around £1.80 is unlawfully overcharged by Mastercard and Visa on payments made by corporate credit and debit cards, and inter-regional transactions.
WHO CAN CLAIM?
The class action is open to all business, including large international and local businesses, as well as some non-UK companies.
For technical reasons, the case will be structured as four separate but inter-related actions (an ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ claim against Mastercard, and an ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ claim against Visa).
Businesses with an annual pre-Covid turnover of £100 million or more are invited to join the ‘opt-in’ claim. Businesses can choose to join either or both of the ‘opt-in’ claims against Mastercard and Visa – although businesses can only formally opt in to the claims once the Competition Appeal Tribunal ‘certifies’ them to proceed to trial. For the moment, businesses in this category can register their details on the claim website and we will get in contact to discuss the potential claims.
Businesses with an annual pre-Covid turnover of less than £100 million will automatically be included in the claim, unless they choose to opt out. If the Competition Appeal Tribunal certifies the ‘opt-out’ claims, and they then succeed, businesses who have registered their details with us will be paid their share of damages. Businesses can choose to not be a part of either or both of the ‘opt-out’ claims against Mastercard and Visa, and will not then be eligible to receive any compensation if this becomes available.
Businesses can register their interest for the above claims by clicking on the below button:
If you have any questions, please contact our dedicated campaign phone line on 020 81385 617 or email the Commercial Card Claim team at email@example.com.