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New EU cross-border payments rules into force

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New EU cross-border payments rules into force

Image © Tatjana Balzer - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - Consumers and businesses in non-eurozone EU Member States will enjoy cheaper cross-border payments in euro from Monday, as new rules came into force pricing these the same as domestic payments.

From 16 December, all cross-border payments in euro in non-eurozone Member States - Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom* - are being priced the same as domestic payments.

For example, a Bulgarian consumer who decides to send euro abroad will from now on pay the same fee as for a credit transfer in lev, within Bulgaria. In other words, cross-border euro payments will incur very low or even zero fees.

"This is a positive and concrete example of how the Single Market can bring real benefits to European consumers," said Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis: "For instance, a family in Romania that wants to send money in euro to their child doing an Erasmus exchange in Paris will no longer have to factor in additional costs, as they will now be paying the same fee as for a domestic transaction in Romania."

The EU executive says it will closely monitor the application of these rules, and will liaise closely with competent national authorities to ensure that they are implemented correctly.

These rules, as set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/518, are part of ongoing efforts by the Commission to create better and cheaper access to financial services for consumers, as set out in the Consumer Financial Services Action Plan of March 2017.

As a next step, in April 2020, additional provisions will apply which will allow EU consumers to compare currency conversion charges when paying with their cards in another EU currency.

Regulation (EU) 2019/518 of 19 March 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 as regards certain charges on cross-border payments in the Union and currency conversion charges (Text with EEA relevance)

* corr. on 16/12/2019 at 14:30

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