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Sweden to outlaw card payment charges

Tom Sullivan · 6 Mar 2010, 12:08

Published: 06 Mar 2010 12:08 GMT+01:00

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While not all card companies charge for card transactions at the moment, there is no law against the practice and many stores and cafes currently charge customers extra for smaller purchases.

"I believe the biggest cost [to retailers] comes from handling cash. Any transaction over 70 kronor ($10) is cheaper to handle by card," financial markets minister Mats Odell told the Swedish television channel SVT.

"We're proposing that all card charges simply disappear."

Although a number of card companies forbid retailers from passing on charges to customers, many still set a threshold of 100 kronor or less for card payments.

Story continues below…

According to the government more incentives need to be introduced to encourage purchases by card as transporting and handling cash costs Sweden up to 11 billion kronor per year.

Tom Sullivan (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:55 March 6, 2010 by Nemesis
This is a very good move.

This will help small business´s a lot.
19:30 March 6, 2010 by villjobba
Sweet! I hate carrying cash and love dig cards, regardless of the value of the purchase :-). I can start saving back that 3kr I have been paying in transaction costs to retailers each time I use my card for a -100 or 50kr purchase!
22:39 March 6, 2010 by rba
What about stores which charge a fee for cards for any purchase regardless of size? I'm talking about some small pizzerias and stores. Will that also be outlawed?

On a more conspiracy-theoretical note, some would say that the progressive attempts at eliminating cash make it for much easier privacy invasion and control of the money supply in order to allow the government to "fix" the economy as they wish.
01:04 March 7, 2010 by Nilspet
Whatever the move...Cash is still king. You dont want to be traced all the time. The statement that it costs 11 billion kronor per year to handle cash is true but that is part of the business..it creates jobs. It is not what authorities waste money on for nothing. It creates jobs etc when you hire people to transport cash. I myself prefer cash for anything under 500 kr. In most industrialized countries people tend to go back to cash these days.
01:22 March 7, 2010 by Davey-jo
If this charge cannot be made directly it will be made indirectly in higher prices. This means that cash payers will be subsidizing card payers; is this fair?
08:41 March 7, 2010 by Weekend_warrior
Davey-jo is 100% correct. Every single time a card is used visa, mastercard, or whomever takes a cut. For example a 10 kronor soda could cost the retailer (like Presbyrån) 1-2sek.

The end result will be higher prices for everyone and cash payers will suffer. This has been the way in the United States for years. I remember reading somewhere that the average convenient store (7'11) in a major US city pays about 200,000USD a year in those fee's to Visa, etc... PS the cut they take, depends on things, like whether it's a rewards card, debit card...both of which cost more for the retailer.

At Davey-jo, people do not need to use cash, and most use plastic these days. Whether it is fair or not...I do not really know. I feel like it's just the way of doing business and the convenience of using a card. It will save the State a lot of money (from printing and destroying old bills etc..) Plus they'll probably see revenue from the tax increase from the windfall card companies will reap, ha ha...I say windfall in a country of 9 million...Visa doesn't really care.
11:25 March 7, 2010 by texasgubbar
That sounds great, if only the US could at least come out of the stone ages and ban handwritten checks at stores. Talk about a time waster. Someone should do a study on why its 99% women that write checks. They probably still own a black and white TV and listen to 8-track tapes.
13:23 March 7, 2010 by grantike
finally something good is about to happen.i wish they do it real quick.debit machine dont allow you to take 100 kronors something only 500 hundred and you use cards to pay you get charged extra.very crazy thing.finally good
15:40 March 7, 2010 by ameribrit

Know what you mean. Don't ya just wanna slap them folk up the side of the head and show em a debit card.
15:49 March 7, 2010 by Frobobbles
Too bad they are not outlawing card payment charges for the retailers. They still have to pay to visa et al. They are only forced to pretend to the consumer that the fee does not exist. Insane.
08:40 March 8, 2010 by rba
Frobobbles are you proposing that Visa and banks work for free?
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