The class action lawsuit brought by law firm Harcus Parker against financial giants Visa and Mastercard seeking compensation for businesses that suffered unfair surcharges on credit and debit card payments made between 1992 and 2008 is a case that is attracting the interest of business law experts and the media worldwide. The case could have significant implications for the credit and debit card payments industry, and could lead to changes in the business practices of these financial giants.
The class action was launched in 2016 and is open to all businesses located in Europe that made credit and debit card payments between 1992 and 2008. According to law firm Harcus Parker, the companies could be eligible for up to several billion dollars in compensation if the class action is successful.
To understand the case, it is important to understand how interchange fees work. Interchange fees are charged by credit and debit card networks to merchants each time a transaction is made with their card. Merchants negotiate interchange rates with the card networks, but these rates are often set by the card networks unilaterally, without merchant input.
Interchange rates can vary between card types and countries, but are generally between 1% and 3% of the transaction value. These fees are often seen as a form of hidden tax, as they are not clearly displayed to consumers.
The class action
The Harcus Parker class action alleges that Visa and Mastercard illegally charged excessive interchange fees to European businesses for years, resulting in additional costs for those businesses. The law firm believes that these fees were excessive and that Visa and Mastercard took advantage of their dominant market position to impose these fees on European businesses without their informed consent.
The class action is supported by thousands of European businesses that have been affected by these unfair surcharges. Harcus Parker worked hard to gather the necessary evidence to support his case, and the case finally went to court in 2020, after the financial giants failed to reach a settlement with the law firm.
The implications of the case
On the credit and debit card industry
If the class action lawsuit results in compensation for the European companies, it could cost Visa and Mastercard billions of dollars. The case could also have significant implications for the entire credit and debit card payments industry.
On the companies involved:
If Visa and Mastercard are found guilty of illegally charging excessive interchange fees, this could prompt other companies in the industry to review their practices and pricing policies. It could also have an impact on the relationship between businesses and consumers with regard to payment processing fees.
It is also possible that end consumers may benefit indirectly. If businesses benefit from reduced costs related to payment processing fees, this could translate into lower prices for the products and services they offer.
Interested businesses should provide information on their use of Visa and/or Mastercard credit and debit card services during the period 1992 to 2008. The information required includes transaction data, account statements and payment service contracts.
Possibility of using a legal representative :
Businesses can also appoint a legal representative to represent them in the class action, and it is recommended that they do so to ensure effective communication with Harcus Parker Law Firm throughout the case.
The commercialcardclaim.co.uk website provides full information on the application process and the stages of the class action. Companies can also contact the law firm directly for help and advice.
If Harcus Parker wins the case:
If the class action is successful, businesses could receive significant compensation for the excessive payment processing fees charged to them by Visa and Mastercard. The amounts of compensation will depend on several factors, including the number of businesses involved and the total amount of surcharges charged.
Ultimately, Harcus Parker’s class action lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard represents an opportunity for European businesses to recover amounts wrongly charged by the two payment services giants. Interested businesses are encouraged to learn more about the class action and to consider joining this lawsuit to enforce their rights and obtain fair compensation.