Bloomberg News

Visa, MasterCard Surge as Fed Lifts Caps on Debit-Card Fees

June 29, 2011

(Updates with share gains starting in the first paragraph.)

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., the world’s biggest consumer-payment networks, surged more than 10 percent after the Federal Reserve relaxed restrictions on debit- card transaction fees.

Visa advanced $11.29, or 15 percent, to $86.57 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the most since March 2008. MasterCard rose 11 percent to $309.70, the biggest gain since February 2009.

The Fed voted today to cap debit-card swipe fees, also called interchange, at 21 cents a transaction, lifting the limit from an earlier proposal of 12 cents. The caps are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. San Francisco-based Visa and MasterCard, based in Purchase, New York, set interchange fees that are paid by merchants and pass the money to card issuers including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co.

The cap, which will reduce the fees merchants pay to accept debit cards, replaces a formula that averages 1.14 percent of the purchase price.

Visa has gained 23 percent this year after falling 20 percent in 2010, while MasterCard has climbed 38 percent after last year’s 12 percent decline.

--Editors: Peter Eichenbaum, William Ahearn

To contact the reporter on this story: Dakin Campbell in San Francisco at dcampbell27@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.


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