Sweden to outlaw card payment charges

Charges for using credit and debit cards for small purchases will be abolished under new proposals from the government.

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.

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.

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