Friday, April 18, 2003

Competition authority presents first findings on Interpay-fees

The NMa, the Dutch competition authority, yesterday presented its preliminary findings of the investigation into the fees that Interpay charges for the debit-card authorisations at the point of sale. Their conclusions are that Interpay has charged too much for the debit-pin-authorisation service. And Interpay is the sole contractor for this service in the Netherlands. Its eight shareholders (ABN AMRO Bank, Rabobank, ING Bank, Fortis Bank, SNS Bank, Friesland Bank, Van Lanschot Bankiers en Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten) now have some time to react.

It should be noted that change is underway. As a result of the Wellink report, banks have already agreed to take over the pin-authorisation contracts of Interpay. As a result a merchant will soo be able to negotiate (and compare) the POS-authorisation fee of individual banks.

The next logical next step would be that other companies than Interpay will be allowed to also provide pin-authorisation services in the Netherlands. But that may come later.