Brazilian Federal Senate passed bill allowing credit card surcharges



Brazilian Senate Plenary recently passed a bill allowing merchants to set different prices for purchases made by cash or credit card. Still, the bill needs to pass by the Chamber of Deputies to be fully sanctioned.

The bill suspends a previous resolution of the extinct National Consumer Protection Council (CNDC) that was in effect since 1989. The resolution prevented higher charges for credit card payments.

According to the author of the bill, senator Roberto Requião, credit card brands are heavily taxed (PIS, Pasep, ICMS and Income Tax) and therefore, final cost would be passed on to the customer. Final price is expect to be 3% or 4% higher than purchases at sight.

The resolution that the bill aims to suspend doesn’t mention electronic debit payments. However, Requião advocates that purchases of this nature should also be considered transactions at sight.

“We defend customers right to choose payment method. If he chooses a non-cost payment method (to the merchant), as cash or check, he shouldn’t be charged the credit card processing fee that goes from 2.5% to 4,5%. This value, higher than in other countries, is embedded in today’s prices, explains Esteves, lawyer of the Brazilian National Confederation of Commerce (CNC).

Brazilian Department of Consumer Protection and Defense (DPDC), depending of the Ministry of Justice, disagrees. “The differential pricing will not be responsible for lowering the rates. If the problem is the rate itself, it should be discussed with the card operators “, argues the director of the DPDC, Amaury Oliva.

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