MasterCard disappointed over interchange fee cap

Analysis

MasterCard regional director András Hemberger expressed disappointment over a bill that would cap interchange fees at an event in Budapest yesterday. National Economy Minister Mihály Varga submitted amendments to Parliament late last week that would cap interchange fees at 0.2% for bank cards and 0.3% for credit cards as of January 1, 2014.

Hemberger commented on the fees at a press conference organized by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on the launch of a program to install more point-of-sale terminals in Fejér county. Hemberger stated he was "disappointed" at the strategy to increase credit card acceptance and use, and mentioned that in negotiations with the central government, only the final form of the amendments was discussed as an option.

Hungarian Banking Association communications director Ágnes Sütő said financial service providers would take a 0.1% loss on every transaction made with a bank card because of the limit on interchange fees and a recent increase to the transaction duty. News outlet Portfolio.hu estimates that Hungary-based financial service providers stand to lose up to HUF 6 billion due to the capped interchange fees.

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