Fee-free banking still exists, but it's a shadow of its former self. The qualification rules have been tightened up to the point where you could argue it no longer exists in any meaningful sense. Indeed, the final nail in the coffin of fee-free banking from traditional banks has been hammered in over the last few weeks. Permanent TSB now requires customers to keep a balance of €2,500 a month if they want to avoid paying quarterly maintenance fee of €18. The other pillar banks take a similar approach, with AIB also asking you to keep a balance of €2,500 to avoid various transaction fees and a €4.50 quarterly maintenance fee. Ulster Bank now has a threshold of €3,000 to avoid similar transaction charges, but you can't avoid the €2 monthly maintenance fee. Ditto for Bank of Ireland: its threshold is €3,000 to avoid transaction charges, but you will still have to pay a quarterly maintenance fee of €5 no matter what. But the good news is that … [Read more...] about Your Money: Can you beat fees and bank on a digital-only current account?
Debit and credit rules
Shoppers in Berkshire will no longer face charges for paying by debit or credit card. Companies will be banned from charging customers for using their cards under new laws which come in on Saturday, January 13. The new rules will apply to any UK company selling to UK consumers both in-store and online, reports The Plymouth Herald. Customers using American Express, Paypal, Apple or Android Pay will also no longer face charges for using a different payment system. Surcharges by government agencies and local councils will also stop charging for card payments, this includes companies like the DVLA. This isn't the only law being introduced this year, with many more set to change the way things are done in the UK. The law follows an EU directive, which means companies across the EU will also be banned from applying this surcharge. The law has changed from allowing companies to only charge the customers how much it costs for them to process the payment themselves. Andrew Hagger, a consumer … [Read more...] about Say goodbye to debit and credit card charges from next week
MASTERCARD has been fined £501million for charging card fees that push up costs for customers and merchants. The European Commission issued the penalty after an investigation that found rules set by the payments provider prevented retailers from taking advantage of lower bank rates. Banks charge a transaction fee every time a customer pays with a debit or credit card - these are called "interchange" fees. But Mastercard prevented merchants for shopping around for a better rates with banks in other EU countries. As a result, retailers paid more in bank services which was then reflected in the price shoppers pay in store. By breaking competition law, it also led to limited cross-border competition and to an artificial segmentation of the Single Market. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "European consumers use payment cards every day, when they buy food or clothes or make purchases online. "By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in … [Read more...] about Mastercard fined £501million for charging card fees which push up costs for customers and shops
Mastercard has been fined £501 million for breaching EU antitrust rules, it has emerged. The European Commission issued the penalty after an investigation found the card issuer's rules on interchange fees had unjustly pushed up prices for both consumers and retailers. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "European consumers use payment cards every day, when they buy food or clothes or make purchases online. "By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in other Member States, Mastercard's rules artificially raised the costs of card payments, harming consumers and retailers in the EU.” Mastercard is the second largest card scheme in the European Economic Area (EEA) in terms of consumer card issuing and value of transactions. Under the MasterCard scheme, banks offer card payments-related services under common card brands, Mastercard and Maestro. What happened exactly? Mastercard acts as a platform … [Read more...] about Mastercard fined £501million for breaching EU payment rules
Millions of us receive presents that are – ahem - not precisely right for us every year, but does that mean we can take them back and what are the rules surrounding returns? The good news is that if the gift's faulty or not fit for purpose, rather than – say – the wrong size or just plain awful, you have an automatic right to return it. The better news, if it was bought online you also get an automatic right to return it. “With the new Consumer Rights Act, consumers are better protected than ever before, but awareness of the new laws is low,” said chief ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith. “Your rights are extended when you buy a product online and you can return non-faulty items too. For example your decision to buy may have been based on a short description or a photo, so what you receive might not always be quite what you expected. “Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have the right to return your order up to 14 days from the day.” … [Read more...] about Christmas returns policies for all of the big high street retailers and chains