Central Bank of Belize Addresses Credit Card Fee Concerns
For the first time in recent history, the Central Bank of Belize hosted a press conference, aimed at reporting on the various categories of the financial sector. The 75-minute event covered more than eight major topics which we will be highlighting throughout this week …. The first has to do with personal banking. If you own a bank debit or credit card, you may notice that when you go to certain stores, you are charged a fee by the store owner if you choose to swipe your card. Many have complained of this on social media, and today the Governor of the Central Bank, Kareem Michael, confirmed that they are exploring the possibility of regulations in this regard.
Kareem Michael, Governor, Central Bank of Belize: “What we’re trying to do is look to see whether or not there’s room for us to put in clauses in our national payment systems regulation. We have an act but I don’t think we can do much about that there. But what is clear is that this is a contract between the retailer or the store and the commercial bank which has a card reading machine within that contract there should be clear obligations and charges or clauses in there that restricts in fact as far as we are concerned if you’re running on Visa or Mastercard platform you cannot do that so this already is illegal in some sense but it’s not one where the Central Bank has enough jurisdiction so far to go after the vendor this is between two commercial agreements and that commercial bank and maybe even higher up, is the one that should be pursuing this with the retailer.”