Shopaholics, rejoice! EU directive eliminates card surcharges

Those extra amounts you pay for using credit or debit cards rather than cash seem like so little, but they really do add up.

Thankfully, though, the EU ban on card surcharges comes into effect today, Newstalk reports.

This EU directive is meant to make electronic payments safer, faster, and easier. It bans additional charges for payments with debit or credit cards online or in shops.

Imagine all the money we'll save! In fact, Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission vice-president in charge of financial services, said that this move could save EU consumers €550M a year.

The new rules will tighten security on electronic payments. They will also open the EU payment market to companies offering payment services.

As well, the directive will reduce customer liability for unauthorised payments. There is a new 'no questions asked' refund policy, with money reimbursed via direct debit in euro.

While we're just happy to see our wallets won't be so hard hit, EU politicians have said this is the next step 'towards a digital single market in the EU'.

"It will promote the development of innovative online and mobile payments, which will benefit the economy and growth," Valdis told Newstalk.

However, apparently some at the UK's Consumer Council are worried that shops will increase their prices to make up for the loss of card surcharges, the Irish Times reports.

"Already there is evidence of some companies replacing the card surcharge with a ‘service charge’. We may also see more businesses impose a minimum spending limit or a refusal of card payments altogether," the Consumer Council told the Irish Times.

"However, in spite of these fears, we believe the ban is a positive move as prices should become more transparent, making shopping around and price comparison easier for consumers."

Hmm… does anyone else have the sudden urge to do some online shopping?

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