Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

EU Commission Says Visa Europe Offers Cut in Fees

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Visa Europe, the European licensee of Visa Inc., has offered to cap its inter-bank credit card fees at 0.3 percent of transaction value for four years, the same level as the rival MasterCard network, to end a European Union competition investigation and stave off a possible fine.

The European Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that the proposed reduction meant fees levied by Visa Europe, which is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European member banks, would be about 40-60 percent lower than at present. The offer is for cross-border and domestic fees.

Visa Europe came under fire in July last year when the regulator said its fees harmed competition between banks and led to higher consumer prices.

Its credit and debit cards account for about 41 percent of all payment cards issued in Europe, making it the largest card network in the 27-country European Union.

In addition to cutting its fees, Visa Europe also offered to reform its rules, making it easier for businesses to seek better cross-border deals from competing banks.

The EU antitrust authority said those interested in the matter will be able to comment soon on Visa Europe's proposal before it decides whether to accept the offer.

MasterCard, Europe's second biggest credit and debit card network operator, capped its fees in 2009 in response to an EU investigation.

Editor's Picks

CNBC Meets

  • American opera singer Jessye Norman

    CNBC Meets' Tania Bryer speaks to celebrated soprano opera singer Jessye Norman, who speaks about her childhood growing up in Augusta, Georgia.

  • US President Barack Obama presents the 2009 National Medal of Arts to opera singer Jessye Norman

    In part two, Norman talks about her big break in opera and some of the challenges she faced early on in her career, as well as her frustrations with the "racialism" she feels still exists in U.S. Congress.

  • As Jessye Norman tells CNBC that she once considered running for Congress, CNBC looks at some celebrities who've dabbled in politics.