A threat has suddenly emerged over the banking sector in Moldova, able to push this direction of the financial market into a situation of stagnation and decline. The danger comes from the intention to reduce the commission on payments made by customers with bank cards from an average of 1.5% to 0.5%, according to profit.md.
The authors of the legislative initiative present the reduction of the commission to 0.5% for small businesses only as “support” from the state for SMEs, intended to give them an impetus in development.
The international payment systems Mastercard and Visa, which have invested a lot of money in Moldova, remind that the regulation is contrary to the principle of the market economy, because it destroys the economic balance between the participants in the payment ecosystem. The commission is used as a tool for the development of electronic payments.
Banks will lose interest in developing POS terminal networks, stop maintaining terminals that do not provide return on investment. And servicing SMEs will be economically unprofitable for banks due to the high cost and difficulty of cost recovery.
For example, at one of the banks with a fairly large share on the card market, a calculation was made according to which, if this commission is reduced to 0.5%, the receipts will turn into losses for the bank. However, in Moldova, the average amount of the payment receipt, if gas stations are not taken into account, is now 245 lei, but there are also smaller payments. It turns out that in this case we cannot talk about any profit, because for the banks these calculations will bring losses.
The aim of the banks is to increase the turnover of the electronic economy, reducing the cash component in card transactions (cashless). Banks invest millions of euros in card payments, offering their customers many and various benefits – reduction to “zero” of commissions for card payments, cash back, preferential service conditions and much more. All this is done with one goal – to raise the discipline of card payment. While the commission’s regulatory proposal will deprive banks of interest in the development of this direction. The establishment of a 0.5% fee will result in banks ceasing free installation of terminals for small merchants. Regulation will force banks to resort to various ways to cover their expenses.