Coronavirus: tobacconists demand suspension of fees on bank card payments

While payments by bank card – preferred to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus – explode, Philippe Coy, the president of the confederation of tobacconists, asks the banks “to suspend the commission made during billing by bank card” to limit loss of margins for traders.

Why are you asking the banks to stop charging merchants a commission on bank card payments?

PHILIPPE COY. It would be a measure of common sense, security and solidarity. Because for traders and tobacconists, pay this commission – which varies between 0.25 euros and 0.6 euros per act – this adds a significant operating cost. For all these trades which continue to work and maintain a social and economic bond, which take their share of risks in this health crisis, it is a net loss to bear. I request the suspension of these costs during confinement.

Are your customers no longer paying in cash?

For the past two weeks, we have seen an increase of 20 to 30% in bank card collections. Our customers obviously prefer to pay by card because many questions and suspicions persist about the possibility of catching the coronavirus by using coins and tickets. For everyone, and to better respect the barrier gestures, it would be easier to encourage the collection of bank cards. Not to mention that access to money is also becoming more difficult for customers and merchants.

That is to say ?

Banks are officially open. But in reality, agencies are often closed and vending machines are not always restocked.

Have you made your request to the grouping of banks (GIE)?

No, because I don’t know who to contact. But I am counting on a strong gesture from the public authorities to succeed. I already made my request to Bruno Le Maire last week, during a meeting with economic players. I was not the only one, far from it, to support this proposal! I have not had an end of inadmissibility by the Minister of the Economy but, for the moment, the silence of the big banking decision-makers is deafening. I hope the government can support my request to the banks.

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