UK payment regulators say Mastercard and others on anti-competitive behavior in the prepaid card market that may have led to higher prices paid by local governments to distribute welfare payments to vulnerable members of society. We have fined four companies.
On Tuesday, Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) totaled (4,486) MasterCard ($ 42.9 million), Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) ($ 1.25 million), allpay ($ 38,804), and Advanced Payment Solutions ($ 38,804). I have been fined more than $ 10,000). APS) ($ 1.03 million), and Sulion ($ 777).
The investigation, launched in October 2017, followed a complaint by one of the companies, allpay, regarding the infringement. The two companies traded in the UK market by not competing or poaching prepaid card customers with each other. As part of the investigation, PSR conducted an investigation on the premises of some companies without notice.
These cards were used by local governments to provide welfare allowances to victims of domestic violence, homeless people, and asylum seekers.
“This investigation and the heavy fines we have imposed send a clear message that PSR is zero-tolerant to cartel behavior,” said Chris Hem, managing director of payment system regulators at PSR News. Zuri says. release..
Hemsley said the cartel’s way of doing business has led to less competition and less choice, and authorities “may have missed cheaper or higher quality products used by the most vulnerable people in society.” rice field.
When the first PSR findings were released last year, MasterCard said, “We apologize for the actions of the two ex-employees who did not meet the expected criteria in this case.” I am. Independence..
According to a PSR survey, MasterCard has funded the National Prepaid Cards Network, a network of social organizations and local governments enthusiastic about using prepaid cards. The parties involved in the services of the network colluded among them to exclusively allocate potential new public sector customer contacts obtained through promotional events.
PSR has discovered that there are two market-shared cartels in the prepaid market. From 2012 to 2018, the first cartel involving five companies participated in anti-competitive behavior, with some being more involved than others.
The second cartel was run from 2014 to 2016 and involved APS and PFS. The two companies have agreed not to target each other’s public sector customers at the time of contract renewal, including open bidding.
The PSR has completed the investigation and the company has admitted that it has violated the law and has fined it. APS, PFS and allpay were Mastercard license issuers, and Sulion was the company’s service provider.