The PRA has welcomed a move by the EC to limit fees charged to retailers for processing debit and credit cards, but says more needs to be done, and petrol station operators can help to drive the change.

The EC intends to limit the fees for processing debit card transactions to 0.2% and 0.3% for credit cards. During a transition period of 22 months, however, the caps would only apply to cross-border transactions.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson commented “The PRA has lobbied the European Commission, Office of Fair Trading and most recently HM Treasury for a reduction in the punitive Merchant Service Charges and for greater transparency of the costs associated with cards, therefore the announcement is extremely positive for our members.

“However, we are disappointed that it could take up to two years to implement these changes.

“As a result, the PRA will continue to press for the creation of a specific regulator for the payment services industry in the UK, one that could take quicker action to identify anti-competitive practices. We will also lobby for greater transparency from card providers around charging and contractual practices.

Madderson said PRA members can help by taking part in an online survey on MSCs that the EC has commissioned Deloittes to carry out.

However, Madderson says that so far response rates have been disappointing and that out of 45 completed answers from UK retailers only three are petrol stations.

He says responding to the survey should take about 15-30 minutes, and the questions deal mainly with the annual number and value of payments processed, for the various payment means that companies accepts.

The survey can be found at: and the closing date has been extended until the end of August.

Madderson added: “Without your support things won’t change so please take some time to ensure your views are heard.”