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Belgium adopts EU ban on credit and debit card fees
Shops in Belgium are now banned from charging customers a fee for paying by bank card.
The Council of Ministers has approved a bill put forward by economy minister Kris Peeters, which transposes the European Union payment services directive into Belgian law.
The ban on applying a surcharge to card payments applies to all types of debit and credit card - and all transaction amounts.
Until now, it has been common for some smaller stores to charge a fee in the region of €0.50 to cover the cost of handling small transactions by Bancontact, Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
The new law also applies to bank card payments made online, where some sites have traditionally added about 2% to the cost of a transaction.
Peeters said: "We want to encourage more people to make electronic payments. They provide greater security, they reduce the flow of cash and make it easier to combat tax fraud."
Payment services provider CCV welcomed the law change. "A minority of traders still pass on the costs to customers," said a spokesman. "These traders are alienating customers and losing revenue."
The EU payment services directive came into force two years ago. Belgium slightly missed the 13 January 2018 deadline to incorporate it into national law.