Following the Supreme Court decision in June 2020 that Visa and Mastercard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) were restrictive of competition, Purchase Direct and chartered accountants UHY Hacker Young have joined forces with Freeths LLP to create an insurance backed scheme for eligible retailers to seek compensation for credit and debit card interchange overcharging.
The scheme has been designed to offer the opportunity to as many retailers as possible following the disappointment felt by many retailers after finding that they would be unable to join one of the large group litigation schemes.
Purchase Direct and UHY have partnered with Freeths LLP, a leading national law firm awarded the ‘Litigation Team of the Year’ at the Lawyer Awards 2020, to set up the group claim against the credit card companies. The claim will piggyback off the existing litigation where, in the Asda case, Mastercard’s interchange fees have been found to be unlawful. The industry specific nature of our claim (motor trade) with its high average transaction levels for debit cards in particular will enable costs to be minimised, and the calculation of the interchange fees charged will be carried out by Purchase Direct and verified by UHY to reduce costs further.
The legal costs of bringing a claim against both Visa and Mastercard are significant, which is why there has to be a threshold for claimants to join the scheme. In this case the threshold has been set at a minimum £75,000 claim, which equates to an annual card turnover of circa £5 million (and typically an annual turnover of circa £25 million).
If your business qualifies for the scheme, you can stop the clock on the unlawful charging of interchange fees at a point six years prior to your claim and this means that any settlement you would receive would start from the point of the claim starting. Initially the target set for the claim was £10 million of interchange fees, but so far the three parties have recruited retailers with over £35 million in claims and numbers are rising daily.
If your organisation is interested in joining the scheme, please contact Purchase Direct on 01707 299 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.