The Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA) has written to the Revenue Comissioners, calling for details on alleged overcharging of fees on debit cards by card processing firms.
This follows complaints by CSNA members that card processing companies are charging debit card transactions (generally using 'Visa Debit' or 'Mastercard Debit' cards) as credit card transactions, which command higher commission fees.
"We have noticed recently that some Debit Cards are being viewed by the card processors as Credit Cards and are being charged to us at the ad valorem/percentage rate rather than the much lower 'flat fee' associated with Debit Cards," Vincent Jennings, CSNA chief executive wrote.
He added that that Revenue should seek information from card processing companies as "to how payments that are ostensibly by way of a Debit card can avoid being charged as a credit card transaction as there is no obvious way to identify these cards; and in fairness to the card holder, they are also of the impression that they are debit cards." The CSNA said that for a retailer selling a €50 product, use of a debit card will incur a charge of between 8 cent and 24 cent, while use of a credit card will incur a charge of between 1.5% and 2.5% of the full transaction amount.
"The difference between receiving €49.92 or €48.75 on a low-margin product is substantial and deserves clarity on why a product clearly marked 'Debit' can migrate into being a 'Credit' card for billing purposes," said Jennings.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones