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Credit card cuts welcomed

Plans to reduce the charges made by credit card companies to businesses have been welcomed.Business Link has applauded the move, claiming that "insufficient discount is given for volume users".Rod Hill, a business adviser at Business Link East, argued that the cut in charges was justified because the vast majority of transactions are electronic and automated these days and involve "far less processing by the banks than, say, ten years ago".However, he added: "Regular reviews by Visa/MasterCard are needed to ensure that discounted rates are provided for volume users."The European Union Competition Commission has ruled that MasterCard's credit card interchange fees for consumers must be cut across the EU.Commenting on the issue, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "Consumers foot the bill, as they risk paying twice for payment cards: once through annual fees to their banks and a second time through inflated retail prices paid not only by card users but also by customers paying cash."

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