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Refusal to use POS machines is legal under certain conditions

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Refusal to use POS machines is legal under certain conditions

The use of payment cards is expanding, the government is preparing a bill that will make the installation of a card payment slot machine (POS) mandatory for all companies and all service providers, but not all companies are ready to bear the cost of managing receipts. them with a card.

The president of the Consumers' Association, Marios Drousiotis, spoke to “P” about the issue, noting that consumers should be informed through a sign which should be in a visible place for any restrictions on the use of a card payment machine (POS). In particular, a store has the right to impose an additional commission on the total amount when paying by card or to refuse to pay a specific small amount of money by card, only if it is clearly stated and informs the customer in a timely manner. A typical example is the sale of cigarettes from kiosks. Due to the low profit margin there are kiosks that charge for the use of the card, with the amount of the commission, or accept only cash when selling cigarettes. In addition, there are cases of other companies, even multinationals, that discourage the use of the card for small amounts, e.g. up to five euros.

A prerequisite for the legality of the transactions we have described is that the consumer is aware of this restriction before reaching the checkout. In particular, it is legal for the store to charge the payment commission for the total final amount, as long as the consumer has been informed by a similar sign stating the terms, and not orally at the time of payment, explains Mr. Drousiotis.

On the contrary, if there is no warning sign in a visible place that clearly states the minimum amount of money, then this is “clearly illegal, it is an unfair commercial practice and is punished with a rather severe fine,” said Mr. Drousiotis.

The shopkeeper has no right to refuse payment by card, if there is a POS, without warning.

Regarding the amount of commission paid by the company for the use of the POS machine, “there is no regulation” for its configuration, says Mr. Drousiotis.

“It is a matter of agreement between the card management service provider and the supplier. The amount of the commission is not specified. Nevertheless, the most common amount on average is 2% to 2.5% “, he added. Therefore, the payment commission comes from the 'POS provider, which is the money broker. The criteria of this agreement depend on the cost and the criteria set by the POS provider itself “, underlined Mr. Drousiotis. For example, if the provider has more profit than one company then it will charge less commission. This, he argued, happens in supermarkets where a consumer can more easily pay by card for a low value product, compared to a neighborhood store, which prefers cash payment. The turnover of a supermarket is millions of euros, while a kiosk of tens of thousands of euros and most of the time it is not in their interest to lose customers, as Mr. Drousiotis explained. In any case, of course, timely written information must be observed in order to achieve the legality of the transaction and to avoid conflicts between consumers and sellers.

Source: politis.com.cy

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