EU backs cap on bank card transactions

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EU backs cap on bank card transactions

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The European Parliament has backed a deal to cut costs for people who use debit and credit cards to shop.

EU officials want to cap the fees retailers pay to process card transactions as an increasing amount of customers are choosing to use cards rather than cash.

If the accord is approved, there will be a 0.2 percent ceiling on the amount banks can charge for debit card payments.

For credit card purchases, the maximum level will be 0.3 percent of the total amount.

It is estimated some 760 million payment cards are used throughout the EU with the average amount spent around 49 euros.

The new rules could come into force by the end of the year and will apply to both cross-border and domestic card-based payments which costs businesses around Europe an estimated 10-billion euros a year.

Some consumer groups have expressed fear that banks may try to claw back some of the costs through other charges.