The international payment system Visa warned that it would increase the interchange fee (acquiring commission) charged on bank card payments in supermarkets. The growing costs of retailers will once again be paid by ordinary buyers, in the opinion of Doctor of Economic Sciences Alexey Vedev, Head of the Financial Studies Department of the Gaidar Institute, which he shared with FederalPress.

From February 1, 2022, the commission that the acquirer bank of the seller outlet pays for the execution of the payment transaction to the bank that has issued the card will increase from 1% to 1.3% of the value of goods. Besides, Visa plans to abolish its preferential programs for large supermarkets.

“This is more than a strange act on the part of Visa, and in this case the RF Central Bank, as a regulator, should control the desire of payment systems to increase the interchange fee. Naturally, if the fee is increased, all related bank costs will be shifted on to the consumer. If they raise the acquiring commission by 1%, prices will also jump 1%,” explained Alexey Vedev.

The expert believes that the increased commission will translate into changes in the payment methods used by buyers of goods and services.

“Many have already been faced with the situation in restaurants or markets when the sellers ask that their customers pay in cash, not with a bank card. By doing so the sellers are trying to avoid the additional charges. Payments by bank cards are more convenient, these are official payments, they are visible, and the switchover to cash payments means, of course, a return to the unorganized market. One of the key tasks of the Central Bank is to prevent this,” he said.

Representatives of the Visa payment system have stated that they periodically revise their interchange fee rates in order to create proper conditions for developing electronic payments in the market. And the change in the amount of their fee reflects the desire to bring their tariff policy in line with the current market economy realities.

“In 2014, we already witnessed changes introduced by Visa, when they decided to block settlements within the framework of economic sanctions. We had to quickly launch our national payment system “Mir”. In the place of the MasterCard and Visa systems, I would behave more modestly”, Alexey Vedev concluded.