On 27 January 2015, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee approved the draft Regulation on Interchange Fees for Card-Based Payment Transactions (the Regulation). This vote  endorsed the informal trilogue agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council in December 2014. The Regulation will now pass to the European Parliament for a final plenary vote, which is expected to take place in April 2015.

The Commission proposed a Regulation on 24 July 2013 as part of a package of payments legislation that includes: the second Payment Services Directive; the second Information Accompanying Transfers of Funds Regulation; and the fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive. This was in response to the review of the current EU payments framework and the responses received on the Commission’s Green Paper ‘Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments’.

The Council published four Presidency compromise proposals before agreeing a general approach on 7 November 2014. The Council then published the final compromise text on 16 January 2015, and a separate press release on 21 January 2015 announcing that the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee had approved the final text.

The European Parliament’s press release of 27 January 2015 anticipates that the Regulation will be voted on in April and will have effect from six months after coming into force. By working with the second Payment Services Directive, the Regulation aims to “[eliminate] direct and indirect obstacles to the proper functioning and completion of an integrated market for electronic payments”.

Click here to find out more about the Regulation, and the card fee caps it will introduce, if it comes into force later this year (as expected).