Starting this Thursday, August 8th, shops will no longer have the right to ask a few extra cents to customers who pay for amounts less than 5 euros by Bancontact. The purpose of this provision is to encourage payment by electronic means.
Until Thursday, merchants may still request an additional amount to that of the purchase in case of electronic payment. Its ceiling was however limited to the costs generated by the transaction. Shop owners were not allowed to make a profit.
Specifically, the law that applies as of Thursday prohibits merchants to ask for additional fees to customers who wish to pay by credit card, with their smartphone, by transfer or even by direct debit.
Shop owners may refuse the electronic payment below the amount of 5 euros, in which case, the customer must be clearly informed in advance.
The usual sign of, “20 cents of supplement for payments lower than 5 euros,” could thus become, “no card payment below 5 euros”.
Will customers without cash be forced to spend more than 5 euros? Thursday will provide the answer.