The Swiss Association for Electronic Payments (VEZ), which includes Migros, Coop and Gastrosuisse, filed a complaint against Visa and MasterCard with the Competition Commission (Weko). Reason are the introduced price increases of visas, as writes the "Tages-Anzeiger". Because the fees that Swiss merchants have to pay to the credit card company increase significantly when buyers use their European Economic Area (EEA) cards.
As a result, investors looked more closely at the new rates, noting that Visa's rates were the same as Mastercard's. This led to the conclusion that the two companies exploited their dominant position. This may lead Visa and Mastercard to raise their rates in the future.
Old dispute flared again
Today, about 12% of all payments in Switzerland are made with an EEA card. As a result, Visa receives about CHF 8 million per year. At the same time, rates on foreign card payments in the EU have fallen, which has a negative impact on Swiss merchants. If similar tariffs applied to Switzerland and the EU, Swiss retailers would have to pay around 100 million Swiss francs in fees, the VEZ suspects.
In fact, for more than four years, an agreement has been reached, thanks to which the cost of credit card payment has dropped slowly since 2017. VEZ's announcement now heats up this almost buried fight.