Consumers and businesses to save money thanks to new EU cross-border payments rules - EU monitor

EU monitor
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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Source: European Commission (EC) i, published on Monday, December 16 2019.

Consumers and businesses to save money thanks to new EU i cross-border payments rules

As of today, consumers and businesses in non-eurozone Member States will enjoy cheaper cross-border payments in euro.

New EU rules will ensure that all cross-border payments in euro in non-eurozone Member States - Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein i, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden - will be priced the same as domestic payments. For example, a Bulgarian consumer who decides to send euro abroad will from now on pay the same fee as for a credit transfer in lev, within Bulgaria. In other words, cross-border euro payments will incur very low or even zero fees.

Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis i, responsible for an Economy that Works for People, said: “These rules will allow all our citizens and companies to equally benefit from cheap cross-border euro payments. This is a positive and concrete example of how the Single Market can bring real benefits to European consumers. For instance, a family in Romania that wants to send money in euro to their child doing an Erasmus exchange in Paris will no longer have to factor in additional costs, as they will now be paying the same fee as for a domestic transaction in Romania.”

The Commission will closely monitor the application of these rules, and will liaise closely with competent national authorities to ensure that they are implemented correctly.

These rules, as set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/518, are part of ongoing efforts by the Commission to create better and cheaper access to financial services for consumers, as set out in the Consumer Financial Services Action Plan of March 2017. As a next step, in April 2020, additional provisions will apply which will allow EU consumers to compare currency conversion charges when paying with their cards in another EU currency.

Background

On 28 March 2018, the Commission proposed to amend the existing EU Regulation on Cross-border Payments (924/09). These proposals stemmed from the Consumer Financial Services Action Plan that was published in March 2017. Further to agreement by co-legislators, Regulation (EU) 2019/518 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 March 2019.