Is it alright for businesses to charge you a commission for paying with a card?
Has it happened to you that when you pay with a card in an establishment they charge you a commission? Sound familiar to you? Is it correct to make this charge?
Has it happened to you that when you pay with a card in an establishment they charge you a commission? Sound familiar to you? Is it correct to make this charge? Surely these and other questions you have asked yourself about the famous commission for paying with a card if so, you have come to the right place.
In Nigeria in 2020, approximately 968 million card payments were made between January to August 2020, both in traditional stores and in e-commerce. Many people prefer to buy with both debit or credit cards as they find different benefits in this payment method, such as:
- Reduce the risks of handling cash
- Better control of expenses
- It is more comfortable
- You access promotions
- it’s safer
Although it is one of the most used forms of payment, it also has its drawbacks, for example, with credit cards you can spend more than you have, when paying with your card you can be a victim of fraud, among others. Now, let’s analyze the commissions that can sometimes be applied for paying by card.
Can I charge commission for card payment?
The answer is simple: no, the commission should not be charged to the person who makes a card payment, as indicated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Some establishments decide to make a surcharge or commission that can range from 3 to 5% of the value of the purchase when it is made with a debit or credit card. This does not comply with the agreements that these places make with banking entities, since their contracts establish that paying by card should not affect the cost of the good or service that is purchased.
What does this mean? When hiring a point-of-sale terminal, establishments agree that they should not increase the cost of what is purchased by paying with a card. Because card payments can mean charging a commission for them, they decide not to assume this and charge it directly to the cardholder, which should not happen.
Undoubtedly, these types of practices are improper, they condition payment by card and, therefore, hinder the promotion of financial inclusion, since in this way the user is made to believe that paying by card is more expensive than with cash, something which is completely wrong.
For the Central Bank of Nigeria, when a charge is made for payment by card, it is falling into a discriminatory practice towards card users and it is important to report it to the bank.
Why should they not charge commission for card payments?
The main reason is that they are improper, it is also important to remember that although the banking entities charge a commission percentage for the use of the terminal, their contracts establish that they should not charge that commission to the cardholder.
On the other hand, the fact of accepting payments with credit or debit cards has benefits for them, for example, they increase their sales potential by offering another form of payment, they reduce risks by not having to move and handle less cash in the establishment.
If an establishment charged you a commission for payment with a card, the CBN recommends that you notify the financial institution to which the terminal belongs since they are violating the conditions they have regarding contracting, in the same way, you can approach the commission to clarify doubts or request recommendations in this regard.
At the moment no law prohibits the collection of this commission, however, the CBN points out that the contracts that the establishment’s sign to acquire the terminals do establish that it is an improper practice. Finally, remember that paying by card does not have to be more expensive.