This Tuesday, the Economic Affairs Committee of the Legislative Assembly and the president of the Central Bank, Rodrigo Cubero, issued a favorable opinion on bill 21,177, which aims to regulate the rates for use of dataphones in stores, with debit and credit cards.
The initiative seeks to guarantee the promotion of competition, improve competitiveness and increase fiscal traceability, for the benefit of businesses, consumers and the Treasury.
The proposed law establishes the Central Bank of Costa Rica and the Commission for the promotion of competition will determine the percentages of commissions for purchase transactions with credit and debit cards, based on technical criteria and the best international practices.
It must be a single percentage for all merchants and the commission for transactions with debit cards must be less than for transactions with credit cards.
President Cubero thinka it’s necessary to regulate the charge for card commissions gradually, to avoid a discouragement of use. In other words, the intention of the Central Bank is for them to be the ones who define the cap of those rates.
Frente Amplio legislator José María Villalta asked why no measures had been taken in the past, and the head of the Central responded that he should find out why his predecessors did not promote projects in that direction.
According to information from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce, in Costa Rica the amount of credit and debit cards have increased exponentially in the last ten years, reaching over two million plastics.
Currently, the commission paid by businesses for using dataphones is approximately 3.5% for every ¢ 100 that customers consume. These commissions are almost 20 years old.