Finance & Economics

Italian Antitrust Watchdog Cancels Payment Fees for Small Retail Transactions

In Italy, the antimonopoly regulator has decided to approve a deal that will eliminate commission fees for payments and simplify the penalty mode regarding financial operations with small cards.

Italian Antitrust Watchdog Cancels Payment Fees for Small Retail Transactions

This deal is actually a measure to implement the promise of the Italian government to reduce the fees that financial companies charge for electronic transactions in the amount of up to 30 euros for small businesses.

The decision of the antimonopoly authority was made following the achievement of a general agreement between firms that provide services in the field of payments, banks, and retailers. As a result of the implementation of the deal approved by the regulator, large payment providers, including Nexi, Mastercard, and Visa, will no longer face such an unpleasant circumstance as the taxation of unforeseen expenses.

The media, referring to insiders who are aware of the behind-the-scenes details of the process of changes in the payment sector of the Italian financial system, report that the parties reached a final agreement on the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in June. But at the same time, financial companies expressed concern about the potential risk of future penalties, which is why the Treasury appealed to the antimonopoly authority with a request to officially approve the implementation of the deal.

The process of reaching agreements and implementing measures, in this case, was accelerated as a result of the demand of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who aims to eliminate the disappointment of her voters associated with the unfair penalty regime imposed by the former administration of Mario Draghi.

The Memorandum of Understanding provides that payment companies, banks, and retailers receive recommendations to introduce competitive measures to create conditions under which customers will not refuse to use cards when making purchases worth less than 30 euros. Most commercial transactions have already become free in the case of the purchase of goods worth up to 10 euros. Against this background, innovations will not be radical and will not cause a deep transformation of the payment environment.

Experts note that this transaction is not characterized by the emergence of opportunities sufficient to solve the problem of secondary ticket sales, which is relevant for tourist sites located in Rome. Last month, Italy’s antitrust regulator launched an investigation into the situation after receiving reports of difficulties in buying tickets.

Carlo Rienzi, president of the consumer protection organization Codacons, said that a practice has been formed in which tour operators buy tickets in bulk from an official supplier, Societa Cooperativa Culture (CoopCulture), after which they resell them at inflated prices. This problem has an impact on the Italian economy.

Letizia Casuccio, CEO of CoopCulture, announced the existence of systems to counteract mass ticket purchases. Alfonsina Russo, director of the park Colosseum, supported the investigation by the regulator.

As we have reported earlier, Italian PM Does Hard 180 on Right to Refuse Digital Payments.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.