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February 15, 2019

EU approves new cross-border payment rules

The EU parliament has given the go-ahead to new regulations that mandate banks to reduce fees on cross-border euro payments within the EU.

Under the new rules, banks have to charge equal fees for cross-border euro payments between EU countries that are in the euro zone and those that are outside the euro zone.

Previously, consumers living outside the eurozone were charged higher fees for cross-border euro payments.

A total of 532 members voted in favour of the rule, which aims to make currency conversion costs transparent.

Besides, 22 voted against the rule, with 55 abstentions.

Consumers will now get an electronic push notification via the payer’s mobile or web banking app, informing them about the currency conversion charges.

The notification service will not be charged.

In case of bank transfers, banks now have to reveal the currency conversion cost prior to the execution of the payment.

The move is expected to translate to around €1bn in savings for the bloc.

Rapporteur Eva Maydell said: “150 million EU citizens and 6 million businesses living and operating in countries outside the Eurozone have been paying much higher charges for transferring euro than their Eurozone counterparts.

“This will no longer be the case and all Europeans will pay significantly lower charges, which will save them more than 1 billion euro annually. This is the second, small EU revolution after the abolishment of roaming fees.

“It is a huge step forward to completing the Single Market for payments, putting Eurozone and non-Eurozone businesses on a level playing field.”

 

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