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Customers slugged with card charges

Released at: 09:39, 25/04/2015

Customers slugged with card charges

Despite SBV regulations to the contrary, many traders are passing on card use charges to customers.

by Son Ho

Although the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has regulated that purchasers be not charged when paying by card at point-of-sale (POS) machines, many businesses, especially bars, restaurants, regular supermarkets and electronics supermarkets have continued to slug customers.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Trinh, for example, used her VISA card to purchase a VND18 million ($833.94) laptop at an electronics supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City and had to pay an extra VND300,000 ($13.9). The cashier told her that the charge - 2.75 per cent of the purchase price - is collected by the bank and the card issuer.

Mr. Dang Cong Hoang, Director of the Card and Personal Account Service Center at Techcombank, confirmed that his bank and other banks do not impose any such charges on customers using their cards.

When payments are made at POS machines, the vendor accepting card is subject to a service charge of 2 to 2.5 per cent for international cards and 0 to 1 per cent for local cards. Many banks have already reduced their charges on local ATM card use to 0.5 per cent to encourage card payments.

Mr. Nguyen Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of the SBV’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, said that businesses must not pass on this charge to customers. Any business that does so will receive a warning by way of an Official Letter. After the third violation a bank can terminate its POS contract.

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