The initiatives include publishing all the MasterCard interchange rates that apply to US merchants and establishing a cap on interchange fees on fuel purchases at petrol retailers.

Consumers and merchants as well as MasterCard and its customers all benefit from a strong, competitive payments industry, said Walt Macnee, president of MasterCard Americas. One of my key goals is to enhance our ability to deliver value to merchants across the region. We’re doing this through forums such as our merchant advisory groups that meet regularly so merchants can tell us what they need to engage in the payments system in the most efficient and beneficial manner possible.

Among the things merchants have told us they want is additional transparency around interchange rates and that because of the unique structure of the petroleum distribution business, gasoline retailers are disproportionately affected by high oil prices, Mr Macnee said.