Euro payments will be cheaper

14.6.2019

After a significant cut in mobile roaming prices, we will see another pleasant price cut in December this year: a reduction in the current high bank charges for euro payments.

On 19 March 2019, a European regulation [1] was approved which substantially changes the rules [2] for euro payments, especially outside the euro area.

Under the current rule, the fees for cross-border euro payments of up to EUR 50,000 must correspond to the fees for national euro transfers of the same value. Thus, the real benefits of regulation have been seen only in euro area countries, where domestic payments are also made in euro. In other countries, high fees for euro transfers are set nationally, so high fees can also be charged for cross-border transactions. The only exception was Sweden, which voluntarily applied regulation to the Swedish crown, thereby providing its residents and businesses with a significant reduction in their euro payments. Other states have left their residents and businesses to pay high fees. However, the European Union authorities did not consider this situation to be correct, as shown in Table below [3]:

 

The new regulation clearly states that bank fees for cross-border payments in euro must be the same as those charged by the same bank for corresponding national payments of the same value in the national currency of the country where the bank is located. In other words, taking the example of a cross-border payment of EUR 1,000, the fee charged by the bank must correspond to that for a national payment of approximately CZK 26,000. Therefore, if a bank charges CZK 5 for a payment in Czech crowns, it will not be allowed to charge a fee higher than CZK 5 for a cross-border euro payment. These charges are described in the following Table [4].

Although the regulation only regulates cross-border euro payments, I cannot imagine at the moment that any bank would have the courage to set higher fees for national euro transfers than for cross-border ones. Another very positive change in regulation is the abolishment of the original decisive threshold of EUR 50,000. The new regulation contains no such threshold and thus applies to all payments irrespective of their amount.

The regulation will be directly effective on 15 December 2019, but you can already try to negotiate better conditions with your bank today, since by mid-December they will no longer have a choice.

[1] See Regulation (EU) No 2019/518 of the European Parliament and of the Council

[2] See Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council

[3] See the procedure for amendment proposal 2018/0076/COD

[4] See the procedure for amendment proposal 2018/0076/COD




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