On 26 January 2022, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a consultation on remedies following its market review into card-acquiring services.

The PSR published a final report setting out its findings from a review of the card-acquiring market in November 2021. The PSR found that the supply of card-acquiring services does not work well for merchants with annual card turnover up to £50 million. These merchants could make savings by shopping around or negotiating with their current supplier, but many do not.

In the consultation now published the PSR sets out the outcomes which should be achieved through the implementation of remedies. The PSR then discusses some potential options to address the features of concern identified in the market review.

The PSR has identified four potential remedies which, based on the evidence available to it, could be developed to address the issues it has identified in the market review. In summary the potential remedies are:

  • Summary information boxes. Standardised key facts information setting out key price points and non-price service elements, both in bespoke specific format provided to each merchant, and in generic format which would be published.
  • Stimulating digital comparison tools (DCTs) for merchants. Measures to encourage DCT entry into the card-acquiring market.
  • Trigger messages. A standardised message sent by card-acquirers to merchants ahead of initial contract expiry, and then annually to trigger engagement.
  • Addressing barriers to switching between card acquiring services which arise from point of sale (POS) terminal leases. Ensuring POS terminal lease arrangements are not a barrier to switching between card acquiring service.

The deadline for responding to the consultation is 6 April 2022.