Card payments: regulator to investigate card-acquiring services

Credit cards

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is to carry out a market review into card-acquiring services.

The regulator wants to ensure that the supply of card-acquiring services is competitive and works in the interests of retailers, and ultimately consumers.

The draft terms of reference set out the PSR’s proposed approach to the market review, which includes looking at:

  • the nature and characteristics of card-acquiring services;
  • who provides card-acquiring services and how their market shares have developed historically;
  • how merchants buy card-acquiring services;
  • whether there are credible alternatives to card-acquiring services for some or all merchants;
  • the outcomes of the competitive process including the fees merchants pay and the quality of service they receive.

Hannah Nixon, PSR Managing Director, said: “We want to make sure that retailers that accept card payments can access card-acquiring services that are competitive, offer value for money and are innovative – working in both their interests, and consumers’ interests too.

“This is about making sure that payment systems work well for everyone, and we will look to make changes if we think improvements should be made.”

The draft terms of reference for the market review are open for consultation until September 14, 2018.