The Nilson Report

THE CURRENT ISSUE: Issue 1090 | Jul 2016


Companies featured in The Current Issue include:

Asia-Pacific General Purpose Cards

Middle East/Africa’s Largest Acquirers

ACH Payments in the U.S. - 2015

U.S. Commercial Bank Cards - Part 2

American Airlines’ Co-Brand Partners

Court Voids Interchange Settlement with Retailers

HPE Security in Payment Systems

Third 50 Largest U.S. Credit Card Issuers

Investments & Acquisitions - June 2016

Visa Digital Commerce App

Instant Payments in Greece

Asia-Pacific Purchase Volume 2015 vs. 2014

Investments & Acquisitions June 2016

Purchase Transactions on Cards Issued in Asia-Pacific 2015 vs. 2020

Year-Over-Year Growth/Decline in Purchase Volume on Cards Issued in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific General Purpose Cards 2015 vs. 2014

U.S. Visa & MasterCard Commercial Cards - Purchase Volume 2015

U.S. Visa/MasterCard Credit Card Issuers - Third 50 2015

Largest Merchant Acquirers in Middle East/Africa 2015

Consumer ACH Transactions in the U.S. 2015

Largest Merchant Acquirers in Middle East/Africa 2015

The largest acquirers of card transactions from merchants in the Middle East/Africa region are ranked based on transactions handled from cards carrying the Visa and MasterCard brands.

1. Absa Bank, South Africa:
664.4 million transactions
2. First National Bank, South Africa:
484.5 million transactions
3. Standard Bank, South Africa:
329.2 million transactions
4. Nedbank, South Africa:
230.7 million transactions
5. Network International, United Arab Emirates:
178.9 million transactions

Full access to the Largest Merchant Acquirers in Middle East/Africa 2015 is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



Federal antitrust litigation brought by a consortium of retailers over interchange fees charged on Visa and MasterCard transactions between January 2004 and November 2012, which led to an out-of-court settlement finalized on December 13, 2013, has been thrown out by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. The case was also decertified as a class action.

Originally valued at $7.25 billion and considered the largest all-cash antitrust settlement in U.S. history, the amount of the settlement dropped to $5.7 billion after roughly 8,000 of the original 12 million retailers opted out of the class action to pursue their suits separately. Another 4,000 merchants remained in the class action but objected to the deal.

The three-judge panel that heard the appeal stated that the class action was improperly certified and that the settlement was unreasonable and inadequate. It divided plaintiffs into two classes, the court said, one that included merchants who accepted Visa and MasterCard credit cards during the period cited above, and another that included merchants who either accepted or will accept those credit cards from November 28, 2012 onwards. The judges said the two groups were too divergent to have been represented by the same law firms. Those firms would have been awarded a $544.8-million share of the agreed-to settlement. 

The judges stated that members of the first class would receive money and could opt out, while those in the second class would receive only injunctive relief, particularly the right to surcharge as long as they also imposed surcharges on other networks. The surcharge option, though, is compromised by laws prohibiting surcharges in some states including California, Texas, and New York. In addition, the settlement agreement stated that all injunctive relief would expire on July 20, 2021. After that, Visa and MasterCard would be free to revert to previous network rules or continue the injunctive relief in the same or a similar manner. 

Regardless of how Visa and MasterCard might have changed network rules after July 20, 2021, no merchant would have been able to bring claims arising from network rules that were unaffected by the settlement agreement, including the honor-all-cards rule and default interchange fees. 

Case No. 12-4671-cv(L), In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, will now go back to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn where it was originally ruled on by Judge John Gleeson. Judge Margo Brodie will handle it next. 

Prior issues: 1046, 1030, 1026, 1021, 1018, 1015, 1009

Copyright © 2016 The Nilson Report