Merchants in Antigua and Barbuda have been placed on notice by the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division, that they should not change transaction fees for debit card purchases.
Press Information Officer for the Division Joann Peters there have been mounting complaints from cardholders that they are being charged a transaction fee by some merchants
But Peters said on Observer radio on Monday that the move is illegal
“Some merchants when we visit them to have the dialogue are saying “oh well I thought I could just pass it on to the consumers”, but we are aware that the merchants are well informed by the banks that they should not pass this fee on to the consumers,” Peters stated.
Peters said some consumers have not been paying attention while some are not aware.
“Some have not been told that the fee should not be paid by them, and in the past, some consumers have been very well paying the fees unaware of it and so we need to educate consumers that they should not be paying the fees.”
Peters advised residents to look at their transactions at checkout points, even before making their purchases
Meanwhile, Digital Banking Officer at First Caribbean International Michela Benjamin says once a merchant signs up for point-of-sale machines, they are made aware of all the rules and regulations that apply.