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Complying with transparency in cross-border card-markups

Starting from 19 April 2020, card issuers, payment processors and online merchants offering FX or Dynamic Currency conversion within the European Union by any method РPOS or ATM Рneed to disclose how much the end consumer will be charged for transactions carried out in a SEPA currency other than the EUR (a full summary of the regulation here).

Earlier this year, we looked at how players were complying with new EU regulations and found mixed evidence of compliance. Seven months later, it looks like compliance has increased. Some EU banks, for instance, now post not only the terms and conditions of their debit and credit cards, but also the Mastercard and Visa conversion rates that apply to foreign currency transactions and the mark-up of such rates over the ECB rate.

Our data shows that Visa and Mastercard pricing can fluctuate widely day-to-day for some SEPA currency pairs. This makes things less useful for consumers than regulators had hoped since the comparison between FX and DCC costs might differ rather significantly day-to-day. 

From 19 April 2021, banks and payment providers issuing cards will also have to send electronic reminders to their customers regarding the FX charges reported in the cards’ T&Cs, in addition to making them publicly available on their website.

With this additional deadline approaching, reach out to us if you’d like to understand about our cross-border pricing data, Visa and Mastercard rates and optimise your cross-border card pricing. 

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