SME Chamber

Master Card Withdrawals Interchange Fees

The ten year old campaign led by EuroCommerce, the European Federation of National Organisations representing traders, wholesalers, retailers and service providers of which GRTU is an active member, to cause the Credit Card operators to withdraw the exhorbitant charges imposed on retailers and service providers has resulted in another major victory.


Following the decision of the EU Commission of 19 December 2007 ordering MasterCard to withdraw the interchange charges they impose through the local banks on retailers who accept payments by customers on MasterCard, Credit Cards, MasterCard has now decided to comply with the European Commission decision of 19 December 2007 and completly withdraw its cross border interchange fees as of 21 June 2008.

MasterCard had appealed against the EU Commission decision of December and the Appeal Court is due to issue it's final decision on 21st June 2008. MasterCard has now accepted to comply with the EU Commission decision and has accepted to withdraw the charges they regularly impose on retailers and other service providers and comply fully with the EU Commissions Directive.

GRTU, as all other national organisations representing retailers and traders and service providers in EU member states, has been directed by EuroCommerce to commence proceedings with the Office for Fair Competition and the Financial Services Regulator. In Malta GRTU raised other issues with OFT and MFSA and the Office of the Prime Minister.  The Government of Malta through to the Minister of Finance took the decision to request formally the Malta Office for Fair Competition to investigate and decide on the matter. The implimentation of the decision to remove all MIF charges imposed by the Local Banks as Agents of MasterCards and Visa is now expected following the EU Commissions success with MasterCard.

"Following the decision of the European Commission and now the decision of MasterCard to comply, there is very little else the Local Banks as representative of MasterCard to do but to withdraw all MIF charges imposed on retailers, restaurants, supermarkets, shops and other service providers accepting MasterCard.  The European Commission decision also ensures that Banks will not try to circumvent this decision by imposing alternative charges on retailers to retain the excessive charges now imposed on retailers. The issue with Visa is equivalent and it will be obvious that Visa will also withdraw these charges" comments Vince Farrugia, Director General of GRTU who in Malta leads on this issue on behalf of Maltese traders, retailers and service providers.

"The issue, of course, will proceed at local level in Malta and the local Banks, HSBC, BOV and others operating Credit Cards are resisting the claims of GRTU, but we are in no boubt that sooner or later the Local Banks will have to follow the line decided upon the EU Commission. GRTU has been active on this issue both at Local and at EU Level and there is no way that we are going to abandan this issue now that it is nearing a happy conclusion at EU and International level", concluded Vince Farrugia.

GRTU has today written to Mr. Xavier. R. Durieu Secretary General of EuroCommerce congratulating him on the success of the campaign he is leading on behalf of EuroCommerce and European traders, wholsalers and retailers.



What we can do for you










The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.

A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).