Retail giants including Asda, Next, B&Q and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia are suing Visa to recoup 10 years worth of excess debit and credit card processing fees, it is understood.
According to the Daily Telegraph, court papers emerged yesterday revealing that a consortium of retailers led by Asda had lodged papers against Visa Inc in the High Court on Tuesday.
It is thought the consortium of retailers, which also includes Debenhams, are aiming to recoup payment processing or interchange fees dating back 10 years.
This week the European Commission confirmed plans to implement a cap on credit card processing fees which cost retailers £850m each year.
At present, card schemes charge retailers 0.1% to 2.5% on purchases with the average charge per credit card transaction at 0.9%. The proposed cap would cut credit card fees to a maximum of 0.3% and 0.2% for debit cards and could save the industry £362m a year.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) this week welcomed the ruling after a decade of campaigning to cap what they believe are “unjustifiably high fees”, which retailers absorb rather than pass on to the customer, therefore affecting their ability to invest.
MasterCard is already being sued by retailers including Asda and Morrisons.
Mark Hooper, a spokesman for Visa Inc’s subsidiary Visa Europe, told The Telegraph: “We have not seen this claim. We are surprised that a case might be brought and, if it was, would strongly contest it.”