Bulgaria Banks, State at Daggers Drawn over POS Fees

Finance | April 10, 2011, Sunday // 20:21|  views

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The Association of Banks in Bulgaria (ABB) and the Ministry of Finance are facing uphill negotiations over new legislation restricting cash payments, analysts say.

At the end of January this year Bulgaria's parliament adopted amendments, which ban cash payments exceeding BGN 15 000.

Amounts exceeding BGN 15 000 must be paid only through bank transfers, the MPs decided in a bid to prevent VAT frauds and unregulated salary payments in the gray economy.

The Ministry of Finance and MPs from the ruling centrist GERB agreed on increasing the maximum sum allowed for cash payments to BGN 15 000, saying the initially proposed BGN 5 000 limit would have caused inconveniences for the citizens trying to purchase second-hand cars and domestic appliances.

The amendments also provide for relieving clients from transactions fees when paying state and municipal taxes via POS terminals.

How and when the new service will begin to be provided however is still unclear.

The service calls for software corrections in the systems of Borika – Bankservice card operator, all ATMs and POS terminals. Besides it is not still known who will foot the bill, which is expected to run into millions since the expenses have not been included in the state budget, while the banks are unwilling to share the costs.

The Finance Ministry will insist on doing away with the fees as soon as possible. The banks will most likely be granted a grace period of seven-eight months to adapt to the new conditions.

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Tags: banks, 5 000, 15 000, cash payments, bill, restricting, Ministry of Finance, GERB, BGN, Association of Banks in Bulgaria, ABB


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