The PSR has published its draft terms of reference setting out the proposed approach to the market review into the supply of card-acquiring services that it intends to carry out.

The review follows concerns that the supply of these services may not be working well for merchants, and ultimately consumers. This includes, for example, concerns that there is a lack of transparency around the fees merchants pay to accept card payments, and that there are barriers which make it hard for merchants to compare and switch acquirers.

Given these concerns, the market review will examine the competitive conditions in the supply of card-acquiring services and identify any detriment to merchants and consumers if the supply of card-acquiring services is not working well.

In addition, the PSR intends to focus its review on the supply of card-acquiring services in relation to MasterCard and Visa. The main reason for this is that Mastercard-branded cards and Visa-branded cards accounted for over 98% of all UK debit and credit card payments in 2017.

The deadline for comments is 14 September 2018. After such time, the PSR plans to publish the final terms of reference for the market review before the end of 2018.