Wednesday 20 November 2019

Retail lobby group warns about cost of new payment systems

No cash here. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Dutch retail lobby group Detailhandel Nederland is warning shops that the transaction costs attached to new payment methods, such as direct debit via smartphone, will be more expensive than traditional ways of paying for goods.

Services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay are linked to credit cards and credit card payments are more expensive for retailers than direct debits by pin card, the organisation says.

Dutch retailers, including most supermarkets, often refuse to accept credit cards because of the costs.

Contactless payments cost shop keepers 15 cents per transaction and traditional direct debit cards 19 cents. But credit card costs are based on percentages and can mount up to 2.5% of the sales price.

The new systems, like Apple Pay, ‘are not new methods of payments but credit card payments dressed up to look different,’ spokesman Michel van Bommel said.

Apple Pay and Android Pay are not yet available in the Netherlands but that is likely to change soon. In addition, EU rules will soon require banks to give new players access to people’s bank accounts – if they give permission – and this is likely to lead to more systems coming on stream, the organisation says.

‘The logical impact of that will be to pass on the costs to all consumers, because the directive will not allow companies to ask the user for a fee,’ Van Bommel said. ‘If we are not careful, the efficient consumer who uses a direct debit card will be paying the bill for the unknowing, inefficient consumer.’

MPs are due to discuss the new EU directive later on Wednesday.

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