Fabian Demicoli

GRTU welcomes vote taken by the European Parliament in favour of driving down fees of card payments

 GRTU was very
pleased to learn yesterday that MEPs through their vote have supported to cap
the costs of all credit and debit cards at reasonable levels across Europe and
at the same time allowing member states to set even lower caps. This is a
crucial step towards savings for retailers and better prices for consumers
across Europe.

The
European Parliament adopted today the ECON committee reports on the
multilateral interchange fee (MIF) Regulation and the Payment Services
Directive (PSD II). GRTU has been fighting the battle against excessive card
fees for a long time, also under the guidance of EuroCommerce, the voice for
six million retail, wholesale, and other trading companies in Europe.
Yesterday's vote is a great result and we are especially pleased at the
Parliament's inclusion of commercial cards in the caps, the earlier
implementation date at domestic level and the removal of the ‘honour all cards
rule'.

The
legislation will now go to the European Council and will also have to be
ratified at second reading in the new EP after the May elections. The retail
sector very much hopes that the versionof the text voted today in Plenary will
be maintained. We call on the Council, and in particular the upcoming Italian
Presidency, to take up the dossier as a matter of urgency. The reforms in this
regulation, together with the PSD II are essential for the future development
and competitiveness of the payments sector in Europe.

This is
the first step and there is still a long way to go, but it is an important
step. We trust yesterday's vote will send a strong message to the member states
in Council and to all returning and new MEPs in the next Parliament that Europe
needs forward-looking legislation which will encourage competition and innovation,
bringing great benefits to Europe's merchants and consumers.

GRTU has
written to all the Maltese MEPs this week asking them to support our position
and following the vote we once again wrote to them thanking those that have
voted in the interest of Maltese retailers and consumers. 

During
the same Plenary session the Parliament also voted in favour of reducing
roaming charges which we feel is another very positive vote in favour of both
does travelling on business and on leisure.

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