Common Benchmark for the Setting of Credit Card Interchange Fees – November 2005 1. Introduction

This document sets out the Bank's revised Standard for the setting of interchange fees in the three designated credit card schemes (Bankcard, MasterCard and Visa). The revisions are principally technical in nature. They do not affect the average level of interchange fees across the three schemes. The effect of the revisions is to replace scheme-specific benchmarks for the setting of interchange fees with a common benchmark that will apply to all three schemes.

The Bank's reasons for considering a change to the current arrangements was set out in a Consultation Document released on 20 July 2005.[1] This earlier document also set out in draft form two possible standards through which a common interchange fee could be set (identified as Version A and Version B). After consultation with interested parties, the Bank has elected to determine draft Standard Version A, with some minor modifications to the drafting.

This document provides some background on the existing standards, summarises the rationale for the variations and the consultation undertaken by the Bank, and presents the final form of the Standard to be implemented. A revised Guidance Note for schemes, participants and independent experts is attached.


A copy of the Consultation Document can be found at: [1]