The Union of Professionals and Self-Employed Workers has been collecting in recent months many complaints from merchants who consider that they are paying commissions in the collection by card to their customers above the discount rates established in Royal Decree-Law 8/2014, of July 4. Chapter III of the Commission imposed limits on interchange fees for card payment transactions.

This national legislation was brought forward to the European Regulation on this matter, which was subsequently adopted on 29 April 2015.

Both regulations limit the discount rates on payments with so-called “four-part” cards, that is, those involving an issuing bank, another acquirer, the consumer and the merchant. However, those that are established only between an issuing entity, the trader and the consumer were excluded from the regulation.

Agreements between the parties

Although it is increasingly common for agreements to be reached between banks and other card issuers. So the customer receives several cards for use. In the event that the merchant accepts these cards, he pays commissions almost three times higher than those established by the Royal Decree Law and the European Regulation.

UPTA will transfer this concern to the authorities of the Ministry of Economy with the aim that Spanish legislation extends the limitation on interchange fees also to these cards, and in this way avoid the distortions in the market that are occurring.

The Spanish trade sector welcomed this limitation on commissions,since it is a way to guarantee a greater competitive capacity of the smallest businesses. But this existing legal vacuum can produce difficulties and negatively affect the incomes of the owners of the shops.

This concern is greater at a time when the level of retail sales is slowly recovering and even more so in the current Christmas campaign, in which many hopes are placed in the sector.