Retailers should remove minimum charge for card payments following 50% cut in fees

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has said the reduction in fees for retailers accepting payment by debit and credit card will benefit both the retailers themselves and their customers.

“I am pleased that the cost for retailers accepting card payments is being halved from yesterday (Wednesday), following its announcement by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in the Budget 2016 speech.

“The number of people paying using their debit card has quadrupled in the last decade as more people choose this convenient option over going to the ATM. The changes which have now come into effect will mean that the so-called interchange frees banks charge retailers for accepting debit and credit cards will be capped.

“Cutting the cost of card payments for retailers should see the practice of implementing a minimum charge for card payments cease in many retailers. I would echo Minister Noonan’s call for retailers to stop this minimum spend practice now. This will benefit customers across Dublin Fingal as they should no longer have to pay extra to use their card. It is a great time for these changes to have taken effect, as people get their Christmas shopping underway. Furthermore, the contactless card payment option is being extended for use in transactions up to €30. This is the cheapest and most efficient way to pay, both for the consumer and the retailer.

“This measure will have a positive impact in terms of savings for retailers; estimated in excess of €36 million a year. Retailers should shop around and make sure that they are getting the best possible deal from their card machine provider if they are going to get the maximum benefit from this reform.

“Measures like these are crucial to Fine Gael’s plan to keep the recovery going. Cutting costs for retailers helps to create jobs in small and family businesses in the North County, and across the country. We cannot take for granted that stability and recovery will continue and we must continue to create jobs which can ultimately lead to affordable, sustainable improvements in our public services using the resources from growing employment.

“I would also encourage people in the North County to support our local businesses when doing their Christmas shopping this year.”