The Commission has rendered legally binding the commitments offered by Visa Europe (“Visa”) to significantly cut its multilateral interchange fees (“MIFs”) for credit card payments and to reform its rules cross-border acquiring in order to facilitate cross-border competition. The commitments were offered in response to the Commission’s supplementary Statement of Objections (“SSO”), issued in July 2012, where the Commission presented concerns that the rules on ‘cross-border acquiring’ in the Visa system, which oblige banks to apply the inter-bank fees of the country where the merchant is located even if the fees in their home country are lower and that all inter-bank fees set by Visa for transactions with consumer credit cards in the EEA currently apply to international and cross-border transactions in the EEA, as well as to domestic transactions in ten EU Member States or EEA countries. To address these concerns, Visa undertook to cap its debit card MIFs at 0.3% for all consumer credit card transactions in the EEA where Visa sets the rate. As regards cross-border acquiring, Visa also agreed to allow acquirers as of 1 January 2015 to apply reduced cross-border inter-bank fees for cross-border clients and to apply the same fees to transactions carried out with merchants located within the EEA with Visa consumer and debit cards issued in certain non-EEA countries belonging to the Visa Europe territory. Further, Visa undertook to simplify its inter-bank fee structure and make the invoicing of card acceptance services more transparent to merchants. According to the Commission, Visa Europe's commitments are likely to create positive dynamics in the internal market by allowing cross-border payment providers to apply lower rates in countries with high inter-bank fees which is expected to put significant pressure on domestic inter-bank fees and to finally lead to their reduction and harmonization. The commitments remain in force during four years. However, there will be a two year delay before entry into force of the commitments relating to domestic MIFs. The Commission will continue the proceedings against Visa Inc. in relation to international inter-bank fees. Source: Commission Press Release 26/02/2014 and Commission MEMO/14/138