3% Surcharge is Illegal

It is actually illegal to charge customers 3% when they are using debit/credit card. We often to see the announcement in the store where using EDC1 as payment method. Customers which do not know the rule would like to think that is central bank rule or business between banks. Today finally they make it clear that surcharge is customer loss and it would decrease the customer will to use card (cashless) as payment method.

Enforcing merchant

I am not sure whether this rule is actually ignored by merchant or they do not even know. It is possible that merchant did not know and they were charged 3% they decided to charge them to customer. They instruct cashier to re-calculate transaction amount to be input in EDC by adding 3% of total amount.

The next question is how to enforce merchant? Sure customer will get the benefit but merchant will feel being disadvantaged since they have to bear the 3% charges of transaction. Afterwards they avoid using EDC as their payment alternative, either saying it is broken, connection error, etc. Moreover, cashless society as central bank promoted program would not be successful.

Minimum Payment

Other problem that we may face when using card as payment method is minimum payment. Payment using card is allowed when transaction amount is more than certain threshold. Each merchant has different threshold. I am sure this is not required by central bank or bank issuer itself.

Well, central bank should take more actions to encourage cashless payment to people and merchant as win win solution.

1EDC : Electronic Data Capture, a card machine reader that merchant use to validate and perform transaction using customer card