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December 6, 2022

Gov’t limits interbank commissions on card payments

The government will limit the interbank commissions that the card’s issuer levies from the accepting bank through whose terminals the payment is done, at 0.2 per cent for debit cards and 0.3 per cent for credit cards, a draft emergency ordinance published by the Public Finance Ministry shows. The draft is in line with European Commission regulations. Likewise, the government wants to introduce minimum clauses in the contracts between banks that install electronic payment terminals or operate electronic payments and the traders using them, in order for the companies to know in detail the costs they will be covering. Failure to respect the upper levels of commissions or the mandatory information included in the agreements between banks and traders represents contravention and will result in fines ranging from RON 10,000 to RON 200,000. According to the explanation note attached to the draft, interbank commissions act as a minimum price, determining to a large extent (70-80 per cent) the price paid by traders for the acceptance of the card that they, in their turn, transfer to consumers.
“In Romania the interbank commissions established in the Visa and MasterCard systems are among the highest in Europe,” the note shows.
On the other hand, proposals to limit these commissions even more, namely to 0.1 per cent for debit cards (at least EUR 0.07) and 0.15 per cent for credit cards (EUR 0.14), were made at the level of the European Parliament. In Romania’s case the minimum sum of EUR 0.07 and EUR 0.14 respectively would represent more than the average commission resulting percentage wise, considering that the average value per transaction is EUR 35.

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