Finally: EU reduces bank commissions to payment cards

The European Union has finally adopted proposals to set maximum rates for (online) card payments. In addition, tariffs must be made more transparent and retailers will be given more freedom of choice in card acceptance. What does that mean for online payment traffic? First and foremost the good news: The legislation is expected to provide European consumers with an annual saving of six billion euros

The European Union has finally adopted proposals to set maximum rates for (online) card payments. In addition, tariffs must be made more transparent and retailers will be given more freedom of choice in card acceptance. What does that mean for online payment traffic?

First and foremost the good news: The legislation is expected to provide European consumers with an annual saving of six billion euros. For Dutch consumers, this involves an amount of € 56 million per year. After all, the higher costs do not have to be passed on anymore. The rates get a ceiling of 0.2 percent for bank cards and 0.3 percent for credit cards. Especially in Germany and Poland they will notice that, because the costs are very high. But this is also good news for Dutch web retailers: payments with a credit card from abroad become less expensive.

Admittedly: in the Netherlands the credit card is not the most popular payment method. By far the favorite for online payments is iDeal, which 93 percent of the Dutch have ever used. 38 percent use a credit card. And more than a quarter pay online with a giro collection card.

According to Retail Trade Netherlands, the proposal has little influence on the costs of Dutch debit card payments because they are already well below the European ceiling. In the Netherlands, thanks to specific Dutch agreements, a retailer pays a low fixed amount for a debit card. In Europe this amount is also much higher with the new legislation.

Credit card payments, however, remain much more expensive than PIN and are therefore unattractive on this point, says Retail Trade Netherlands. Moreover, the most expensive business cards and cards from American Express or Diners (for the time being) are not covered by the legislation. The fear exists among retailers that credit card companies will promote the most expensive cards because of this incomplete legislation. And that is of course not what the EU has in mind. Amex is often used for booking online tickets.

Retail trade The Netherlands believes that the EU must stick to its feet and continue to tighten legislation by permanently reducing tariffs and bypassing all types of cards. That is what Thuiswinkel.org finds, which still makes a comment.

The calculation of multilateral interchange fees (MIF) is based on a weighted average and that is not transparent for retailers. In addition, Thuiswinkel.org also finds that due to the exclusion of certain cards, no competitive payment platform can still be created, since frequently used cards are not subject to the limit for commissions.

Of course it is better when a kind of European iDEAL will arise. Paying by credit card remains, but it remains a risky method with a chance of fraud.