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Inflation Takes a Toll on the Debit Cards of Belizeans

As the cost of living in Belize continues to increase, the public and private sectors have had to make several financial adjustments. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it became a customary practice to carry out cashless transactions with the use of debit or credit cards. However, some businesses have reported that the use of the Point of Sales (POS) machines is not economically friendly anymore, pointing out that each transaction has a banking fee attached to it. While some businesses are opting to discontinue the use of card machines, other businesses are taking another route by charging customers a fee. CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development, Dr. Osmond Martinez, said that further investigations will need to be carried out as these actions will not be entertained.

Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO Ministry of Economic Development: “I think that’s something we will need to address through the Central Bank of Belize and the commercial banks because that is not so, you know? The Government will not entertain any additional charges to customers just for using their credit card or debit card. I personally see it as, it’s an offence if it’s not a policy that is aligned with the Central Bank of Belize and the commercial banks. It’s definitely an offence and two, we have to protect our customers and our citizens.” 

Martinez also stated that business owners hold the right to discontinue the use of cards if it creates more feasibility in running their businesses, however, inflation does not justify any additional charges imposed on customers.