British customers of MasterCard are going after the financial services corporation over charging illegally high fees on store transactions for more than a decade.
The class action lawsuit, filed last week at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal by law firm Quinn Emanuel, wanted MasterCard to pay £14 billion ($18.6 billion) to its British customers, which it claimed paid “unlawful card charges” to the company between 1992 and 2008. The law firm estimates some 46 million people in the UK were affected.
“Consumers were unaware of the level of these fees or that they were illegal,” the law firm said in a statement. “The fees were a significant cost for retailers that was then passed on through increased prices of goods and services. All UK consumers, including cash purchasers—and not just MasterCard holders—have lost money as a result.”
Quinn Emanuel is acting on behalf of Walter Merricks, former chief of UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service, the agency that tries to resolve complaints against financial services firms.
How much does it cost for bitcoin transactions?
In comparison, fees for transacting digital currency—particularly that of bitcoin—are still among the lowest in the market. The default fee used by many bitcoin wallets is 10 satoshis per byte, or roughly $0.000061, but others opt to charge higher to give users “the fastest and cheapest transaction on the network, according to CoinDesk.
Meanwhile, data from 21 Inc’s Bitcoinfees platform showed that 60 satoshis per byte, or roughly $0.07, is the fastest and cheapest transaction fee today—a much lower amount compared to transaction fees of any other financial services networks in the market.
Bitcoin start-ups punt on growing remittance market
See, even companies have already started warming up to the idea of digital currency—especially in Asia, where digital currency exchanges like Coinplug, Korbit and Coincheck are quickly gaining traction.
Recently, Seoul-based KakaoTalk made its first-ever overseas investment: a 40 percent stake in Manila-based bitcoin start-up Satoshi Citadel Industries. This company has no connection to messaging, but having KakaoTalk’s support opens a whole new world of possibilities for the digital currency company, like becoming a cheaper alternative to facilitate remittance payments.
Current bitcoin price and transaction volume
The price of bitcoin dropped to $606.41 on Monday morning, with a market cap of $9.68 billion and trade volume of $11.04 million.