The Commission Services has published a consultation paper on transparency and fees in cross-border transactions in the EU. The consultation paper focuses on:
- transaction fees in both non-euro and euro transactions. The consultation paper notes that the first action of the Consumer Financial Services Action Plan is to amend the Regulation on cross-border payments to reduce charges for cross-border transactions in all member states. However, payments involving currencies of member states other than the euro are not covered by the Regulation unless member states have extended it to their national currency on a voluntary basis. The Commission Services is concerned that in the majority of member states, fees for cross-border transactions in non-euro currencies (including member state national currencies) remains very high. The Commission Services therefore suggests that an extension of the Regulation to all currencies in the EU would reduce the costs of cross-border transactions. The consultation paper contains a series of questions on euro and non-euro transactions which respondents are asked to answer; and
- more competition in currency conversion. The Commission Services is concerned that currency conversion rates are often not transparent for consumers when making credit transfers or when paying with a card or mobile device in a shop, or when withdrawing money from an ATM, in a country with another currency than that of the consumer’s home country. The Commission Services also notes that the position is becoming less transparent in light of “dynamic currency conversion” – when consumers are offered by merchants or ATM operators the option to pay or withdraw cash using a service converting amounts into their home local currency. The consultation paper sets out a series of questions on currency conversion which respondents are asked to answer.
The deadline for comments on the consultation paper is 30 October 2017.