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Payments General

EU to equalise fees for cross-border payments

Monday 18 February 2019 | 10:22 AM CET

European Union officials have voted to approve a plan to lower charges for cross-border payments made within the Eurozone.

The measure — approved in a plenary vote of 522 to 22 — will require banks to charge equally for cross-border euro payments between EU countries that are in the Eurozone and those that are not. Additionally, banks will be required to make currency conversion costs transparent, according to the announcement.

By the end of 2019, charges for cross border payments in EUR must be in line with charges for payments made inside a country using the local currency. Member states also will be free to require banks to apply the same charges for cross-border and domestic non-euro payments.

Officials said the new rules will protect consumers from arbitrary charges required for currency conversions. Consumers will now be informed of the charges to be paid in the local currency and in the currency of their account. The charges will be disclosed in a common way whether using an ATM or point of sale terminal. Consumers will get a text message, email or notification through the payer’s mobile or web banking application about the currency charges, according to the announcement.

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