EPP Group succeeds in abolishing ‘roaming’ fees for bank payments
New law will save between at least 1 and 2 billion Euros for citizens and businesses in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.
The European Parliament will adopt a new law tomorrow abolishing ‘roaming’ fees for cross-border payments in Europe. “It is a huge step forward to completing the Single Market for payments, putting Eurozone and non-Eurozone businesses on a level playing field”, said the EPP Group’s Eva Maydell MEP, the European Parliament’s negotiator on the new law, ahead of today’s plenary debate.
From 15 December 2019 onwards, the price of wiring Euros within the European Union will be no different to that of domestic transactions within an EU Member State. So far, this rule has only applied to the Eurozone. Now it will apply to all Euro transfers within the EU. The new law will save between 1 and 2 billion Euros at least per year for 150 million citizens and 6 million businesses, both in EU countries that do not use the Euro and in EU countries which do business with these countries.
“This is the second small revolution in the EU after the removal of phone roaming charges. All Europeans who transfer money across borders within the EU will finally be treated equally”, Maydell stressed.
“Consumers will be able to compare the costs of banks’ currency conversion”
Eva Maydell MEP
“So far, a payment of €10 could easily be subject to a €20 charge in some non-Eurozone countries, despite the availability of the Single Euro Payments Area which simplifies bank transfers in Euros. We managed to change this”, Maydell said.
Additionally, the new law will oblige payment service providers to be more transparent about currency conversion fees when paying by card or withdrawing money abroad. “Consumers will be able to compare the costs of currency conversion done by the bank of a merchant and those of the customer’s own bank and choose the best currency conversion option before the transaction, both when shopping and at a cash machine”, she said.
Currently, nine countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom) are EU members but do not use the Euro.