In response to a plethora of incoming complaints and concerns about mastercard putting a stop to third party billing, Mastercard had this to say today: “MasterCard issued a rule clarification to ensure compliance with our existing rules, which haven been in place for decades, and which are aimed at protecting consumers, merchants, and our member financial institutions. Nothing in this clarification would prohibit third party processors from processing MasterCard transactions in accordance with our rules, and in so doing building their businesses by providing a broad range of services to the merchant community.” Word I am hearing is that Mastercard also got scared about the anti trust issues this would raise, particularly if Visa followed suit. As is it appears one of two things will happen. The first is essentially, nothing. The second is that Third Party Billers will be squeezed for more money, forcing merchants to pay more for the processing.