NewsLocalHarsh penalties to small businesses overcharging consumers paying with credit cards

Harsh penalties to small businesses overcharging consumers paying with credit cards

The legal obligation to accept payment means by card is in effect in Cyprus since September and harsh penalties are on the way for those businesses overcharging consumers opting to hand them plastic money.

The House Commerce Committee on Tuesday heard that credit card overcharges are imposed by a number of mainly small businesses on consumers buying products such as cigarettes, milk, phone cards and newspapers.

And the argument in defense of this practice is that their profit margin is small, Philenews reports adding that a new draft bill provides fines up to €10,000 for such practices.

The Consumer Protection Agency will have the jurisdiction to hand out the harsh penalties.

The parliamentary committee’s goal is for the revised text of the proposed bill to go before the plenary for approval by January 11, 2022 the latest.

Earlier in the month, Tax Department data showed that one in 10 businesses have yet to install a Point of Sales (POS) terminal.

Department officers had carried out unannounced visits to over 1,000 businesses island-wide.

A total of 87 different categories of businesses are obliged to accept ways of payment by card – including law firms, accountants, architects, schools, betting shops, etc.

Non-compliance with the provisions of the Decree is subject to an administrative fine of up to 2,000 euro but this could be doubled to €4,000 under the new bill.

 

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