The European Commission has launched a public consultation on transparency and fees in cross-border transactions in the EU in non-euro currencies. The consultation calls on companies – as well as citizens, experts, organisations and public authorities – to provide feedback on cross-border, non-euro payments. It will particularly look at the cost of cross-border transactions and the cost of currency conversion. The consultation is part of the Commission's plan on consumer financial services, which was presented earlier this year, and the overall objective is to reduce the costs of cross-border payments.
The EU has already abolished costs for cross-border payments in the Euro Area: these now cost the same as national payments. As announced in its Consumer financial services action plan of March 2017, the Commission now wants to extend similar savings to other currencies and eliminate charging practices that are not favourable to consumers.
Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president of the Commission, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, said: "In our Action Plan on Consumer Financial Services, we committed to proposing legislation to reduce charges for cross-border transactions in all Member States. Euro transactions in the euro area are usually priced very low, but this is not always the case with cross-border transactions made in other Member States' currencies or outside the euro area. I want to make sure that all Europeans pay less when transferring money abroad or taking money out of cash machines during their holidays – no matter which currency they use or where they are in the EU".
Responses should be made through the online questionnaire by 30 October 2017.
CTMfile take: This initiative by the Commission is good news for companies making high volumes of cross-border, non-euro payments in the EU – the cost of these transactions should eventually come down. It's therefore probably worth your while responding to this public consultation.
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