COMCO obtains low interchange fees for Mastercard debit cards


Wettbewerbskommission WEKO

16.05.2024, Bern - Payments with debit cards are charged with fees, such as the interchange fee. COMCO settles with Mastercard on an interchange fee of 0,12 % for domestic card-present transactions.


Last June, COMCO launched two investigations to find long-term solutions for domestic interchange fees for Visa and Mastercard debit cards. With Mastercard, COMCO quickly reached an amicable settlement.

For domestic card-present transactions, i.e. when the debit card is physically presented at the point of sale, COMCO settles with Mastercard on an interchange fee of 0,12 % with a cap at 30 cents for transaction amounts of CHF 300 and more. This solution is equivalent to an average rate of 0,1 %, which is considerably lower than the rate of 0,2 % by European regulations. The purpose of this settlement is to create a solid legal framework for all stakeholders involved with a view to enabling sound business decisions and to encourage innovation. Therefore, it cannot be terminated before 2033.

Currently and related to previous proceedings of the competition authorities, for domestic payments made via the Web or mobile devices (e- or m-commerce) an interchange fee of 0,31 % is charged. Prior to the present investigation, the competition authorities and Mastercard agreed, that this rate will be lowered to 0,28 % as of November 1, 2025.

The settlement applies to Mastercard debit cards only and does not prejudge the findings of the simultaneously launched and ongoing investigation into domestic interchange fees for Visa debit cards for card-present transactions.

Domestic interchange fees are revenues that a Swiss card issuer (usually a bank) receives when its debit cards are used in Switzerland. Those fees are passed on by the acquirer as part of its merchant service charge to the company that accepts the card during the payment process (typically a merchant). Thereby the interchange fee is only one of numerous fee components of the merchant service charge.


Contact:
Laura Melusine Baudenbacher
President
+41 79 854 87 25
lauramelusine.baudenbacher@comco.admin.ch

Frank Stüssi
Deputy Director
+41 58 462 27 07
+41 76 402 46 21
frank.stuessi@comco.admin.ch

Olivier Schaller
Vice-Director
+41 58 462 21 23
+41 79 703

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