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Service will cut merchant fees
A new deal to cut airline merchant fee payments to card companies has been announced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The Association, which represents about 230 carriers, said the IATA CreditCard Optimisation Service (COPS) would both cut fees and improve service.
In a statement IATA claimed the new deal would "reduce commission rates and service charges, improve speed and method of payment and create a single point of contract for all credit card negotiations".
These negotiations would now be based on a "complete audit of all credit card contracts of a participating airline and the results will be benchmarked against a proprietary database to identify gaps.
"New agreements will then be negotiated with banks to bring greater savings."
IATA said that airlines were obliged to pay "high merchant fees" to use credit cards.
It added: "The fees are numerous and vary from country to country. Some are fixed amounts. Some are percentages of the transaction value.
"Understanding what exactly is being charged is a daunting task. Without a thorough understanding of this complexity, airlines can be exposed to unnecessarily high fees."
IATA has also launched a second service for its members called Perseuss.
This will allow carriers legally to share data on fraudulent credit card transactions.
It said such frauds cost the airline industry close to $1.4bn annually.