In the slipstream of the EU Commission, Dutch retailer Dirk van der Broek desires (in the Financieele Dagblad) that fees for credit-card payments should be halved in the Netherlands. This is quite a cheap publicity stunt. In the Netherlands we only have 50 million credit-card statements, mostly in sectors that deal with tourists (compared to 1,3 billion debit-card pos-payments).
If any merchant wishes to pass on the high-cost of credit-card payment to the consumer, he or she is free to do so (it is now 10 years since the non-discrimination rule was abolished). Besides, we are now heading for a Dutch future in which the cost of a payment is reflected more and more in its price. So there's no harm done if consumers are confronted with the price of the credit-card payment. This has the benefit that the user chooses payment instruments on the basis of a transparent insight in cost/price.
But Mr van der Broek apparently wishes to apply the Australian model: regulators diminish the merchant fees for credit-cards, retailers thus earn money, but do not pass it on to consumers. I find that a bit too much of a short-sighted approach. Then again, with the retailer wars that are now going on, it is an understandable retailr reaction.