Share article:
Share article:

European Commission proposes cheaper cross-border payments

© European Commission
Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, in charge of the Euro
© European Commission

The European Commission announced yesterday a long overdue proposal to make cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU. Consumers and businesses in the euro area already have benefited from low fees for cross-border payments in euro since 2001. Under current rules, there is no difference for euro area residents or businesses if they carry out euro transactions in their own country or with another euro area Member State.

The proposal aims to extend this benefit to people and businesses in non-euro countries when they pay by bank transfer or travel abroad and make withdrawals from cash machines, putting an end to the high cost of intra-EU cross-border transactions in euros.

All intra-EU cross-border payments in euros outside the euro area will now be priced the same – with small or no fees – as domestic payments in the local official currency. The Commission writes that today’s hefty fees are an obstacle to the Single Market, as they create barriers to cross-border activities.

The Commission also proposes brining more transparency and competition to currency conversion services when consumers are buying goods or services in a different currency than their own.

At the moment, consumers are usually not informed or aware of the cost of a transaction that involves a currency conversion. The proposal will therefore require that consumers are fully informed of the cost of a currency conversion before they make such payment (with their card abroad, be it a cash withdrawal at an ATM, a card payment at a point of sale or online).

In total 150 million consumers are expected to benefit from the proposal, besides those 360 million consumers in the euro zone who already benefit from it. Consumers and businesses are expected to save €1 billion.

The proposal will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council, but no date was given for its adoption.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels metro: strikes continue to cause delays
Strike action by metro staff continues to cause delays on Brussels metro lines M1, M2, M5, and M6. This follows from Wednesday's strikes, organised ...
New police team will investigate mobile phones of trafficking victims
From now on, a new police team will systematically examine the mobile phones of victims of human smugglers in an effort to track down the criminals ...
Thousands of travellers could face delays at Brussels Airport due to action
The around 50,000 travellers expected by Brussels Airport in Zaventem on Friday could face delays as the police at the border controls are planning a ...
Face masks re-introduced in certain grades of Flemish primary schools
The wearing of face masks will once again be mandatory for pupils in the fifth and sixth years of Dutch-speaking primary schools, starting from ...
Push backs of irregular migrants: Is the Commission turning a blind eye?
The situation at EU’s external borders with Belarus continues to raise concerns about  human rights and humanitarian aid but it is difficult for ...
Covid-19 infections, deaths and hospitalisations continue to rise
The number of coronavirus infections, as well as the number of deaths and hospitalisations as a result of it, is continuing to increase in Belgium. ...
Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Use of CST in gyms will see Basic-Fit’s 24/7 centres close at night
Belgium's Consultative Committee announced on Tuesday that it would be standardising the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) meaning it will be needed ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...