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American Express announces a global move to lower merchant fees

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The Financial Times carried an article yesterday (paywall, or free if you google ‘Amex to woo retailers with biggest fee cut in 20 years’) in which the new American Express CEO talks of his plans to reduce merchant fees globally to encourage more retailers to take the card.

In Europe, of course, Amex has no choice but to reduce merchant fees on its co-brand cards following the recent European Court of Justice ruling.

The graph below, taken from the article, is fascinating (click to enlarge).

American Express merchant fees

This shows, globally, that despite a long-term decline Amex still charges an average merchant fee of 2.37%.  This is heavily weighted by the US, which has merchant fees unheard of in Europe, but is interesting to see in the light of the 0.3% cap on interchange fees (which is the majority but not all of the merchant fee) now charged by Visa and Mastercard in Europe.

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