A decision by Visa to reduce its fees on business debit card transactions through the Irish banks has been welcomed by Ireland’s national umbrella body for co-ops.
The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) said the move will benefit farmers and the co-operative livestock marts when it takes effect from September 1.
Over the past year, ICOS has held extensive meetings with the banks around what it says were ‘prohibitive’ charges for farmers using business debit cards to buy cattle at marts.
Visa business transactions in marts previously attracted a fee of 0.30%, negotiated as a group rate for the marts by ICOS. This is now being reduced to 0.20% until September 1.
ICOS said it had learned that the Visa debit card fee will be capped at €1 per transaction for secure payments after that date.
Examples of secure payments include those using chip and pin, online security verification or by phone using the three-digit security number.
Non-secure transactions will be capped at €2 each. A farmer buying €10,000 worth of stock would mean the mart paying a transaction fee of €30, but this will now be capped at €1 for secure payments.
ICOS livestock and environmental executive Ray Doyle said they were very pleased with the proactive approach taken by Visa and the banks.
“They listened to our concerns and have taken this into account in setting the new rates which will be of benefit to marts, farmers and all Visa business customers,” said Mr Doyle.
“Anything that can reduce costs for farmers is welcome at what is an overall difficult time for agriculture in general,” he said.
Mr Doyle said this will also help marts to reduce their volume cheque payments, which carry a business processing fee of €1.20 per cheque cashed, running into thousands of euro in costs for marts nationwide.
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