Italian Retailers, Financial Firms Clinch Deal To Soften Card Payment Fees

By Reuters
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Italian Retailers, Financial Firms Clinch Deal To Soften Card Payment Fees

Italian payment firms, banks and retailers' associations have clinched a deal to reduce the cost of electronic transactions worth up to €30 ($32.9), the parties said.

While the accord does not alter significantly the current situation, it allows the government to drop the threat of a windfall tax on commissions from small electronic transactions Rome had pledged to impose in the absence of a deal.

The parties have signed off on a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that encourages financial companies to launch competitive commercial initiatives on small payments, but stops short of demanding firm promises, Reuters reported earlier.

'Commercial offers should be significantly competitive at least for transactions worth up to €10, should be advertised for at least six months and have a duration of not less than nine months,' the MOU said.

Card Payments For Low-Cost Items

Some small shops had been reluctant to accept card payments for low-cost items because of the charges they faced to process the transactions, meaning the use of cash remains more common in Italy than in other European nations.


Confesercenti, one of the retailers' associations that has joined the MOU, said the deal is a 'rather historic achievement' because the need to lower fees paid by small shopkeepers has been discussed for over a decade.

Prime minister Giorgia Meloni brought the issue of card payments into the spotlight last year, when the government sought to address complaints by small retailers about fines introduced by the former administration of Mario Draghi for those shops refusing card payments.

Read More: Cash Loses Top Spot In Euro Zone As Digital Payments Spread

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