Payment delays: "If no agreement can be reached, we will sue"

Payment delays: "If no agreement can be reached, we will sue"

If no agreement can be reached regarding compensation for retailers, this will go to court, points out UCM (Union of Middle Classes) on Monday, after a technical issue delayed Bancontact payments last week. SNI (Independent Union for the Self-employed) says it is obvious compensation is due, and it should be "high enough" to cover losses suffered by shopkeepers.

"We are holding discussions with Worldline (the company managing online payments in Belgium, editor's note), and they have yet to formally agree to the principle of compensation," explains Jonathan Lesceux, adviser at the research department of UCM. "If negotiations do not lead to an out-of-court agreement on compensation, there will be a class action suit to demand redress."

SNI maintains that Worldline has in fact promised compensation, but gave no details as to how it will be provided. The organisation adds that it needs to see Worldline's offer before deciding whether it is "sufficient". Retailers' representatives have yet to schedule a meeting with Worldline, but a dialogue is to start on Tuesday or Wednesday according to UCM.

Comeos, representing high street brands, says its members suffered no major problems and they are not in the market for any possible compensation. "We are in touch with Worldline to ensure the issue does not happen again," notes Peter Vandenberghe, Communications Manager.

A technical issue at Worldline left many retailers without their Bancontact income last week. The company had promised to solve it by Saturday and that payments would reach bank accounts by Monday at the latest. SNI and others suffered some disruption on Monday, but merchant representatives were expecting the situation to be back to normal very soon.

(Source: Belga)

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