Senator Ronan Mullen has welcomed last week’s vote by the European Parliament to cap the amount of certain fees that credit card companies and banks can charge retailers.
“This move will hugely benefit consumers as it is one of the sad signs of our times that many hard-pressed families must resort to using their credit cards to keep the bills paid. Anything that reduces their financial burden is to be welcomed.”
The proposed changes will deal with fees that banks charge for processing transactions. The new law would limit credit card fees to 0.3% of the value of a credit card transaction and 0.2% or seven cents, whichever is lower, for a debit-card transaction.
“With many credit card companies charging 2% or more on the value of the customer’s transaction, it is easy to see the saving”, Senator Mullen noted, “and I would hope that the savings to the retailer would ultimately be passed on to consumers.”
The EU proposal also mandates that unauthorised payments made from consumers’ accounts would have to be refunded within 24 hours of being noticed and consumers should not be charged any more than €50 for illegal purchases made with a lost or stolen card.
“In the interests of Irish consumers, I urge the Government to back these proposals when the matter comes before the EU Council of Ministers”, Senator Mullen concluded.