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Merchants charging additional transaction fees violate regulations

Merchants charging additional transaction fees violate regulations

Staff Reporter
THE Practice of setting minimum or maximum transaction amounts for customer is in direct violation of the regulations of major credit card companies.
The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) has learned that some merchants continue to add a surcharge (additional fee) to card transactions or are setting minimum or maximum transaction amounts as condition for accepting debit or credit cards for payment. Such practices have a negative impact on consumers and are in direct violation of VISA International Operating Regulations and MasterCard.

Pictured: BAN Chairperson Sarel van Zyl – Photo: Contributed

According to statement issued by the BAN Acquirers and Merchants must comply with all card operating rules and regulations to protect the integrity of the payment systems.
Merchants are reminded that they are required to: Treat all debit and credit card payments like any other method of payment without additional costs (surcharges) added to the value and to honour valid debit and credit cards in their acceptance category regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase.
Acquiring banks are reminded to ensure that Merchants do not differentiate methods of payments by imposing a surcharge fee on any card payments and that Merchants do not impose a minimum or maximum purchase amount for the acceptance of card transactions.
Carrying around large amounts of cash, pose a risk to the individual. With a debit or credit card, you can pay for goods and services in a safe and secure manner. Cards also offer a fast and convenient way to shop. Penalising consumers for using payment cards is not only in contravention of card operating rules, but also unfairly shifts the cost of electronic payments onto the consumer” says Sarel van Zyl, BAN Chairperson.
The public is encouraged to report any non-compliance with this notice to the Payments Association of Namibia (PAN).
According to the statement once PAN becomes aware of a merchant’s non-compliance with any operating rules and regulations, the association may notify the acquirer of such non-compliance and the acquirer must promptly ensure the merchant discontinues the non-compliance practice immediately.

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