QCOSTARICA – Did you notice that lately your local pulperia, supermarket, big box store and every other place you use your plastic that you weren’t given the voucher? Or the cashier offering the card reader instead of taking your car? And that pesky email every time you use your card?
This is all part of a change that occurred on January 1 when you pay with a credit or debit card, where the process should now be: take your card and hold it up to the dataphone (datáfono in Spanish), which should be accessible to you; no one should ask you for the card to process the payment.
On the dataphone, you should be able to see the amount to pay and once the plastic is accepted, the electronic notification should reach you (by email or text) in less than a minute.
And if the purchase is less than ¢30,000 colones (used to be ¢15,000) there is no signature required and you won’t be given a voucher, unless you request it. At some stores like Pricesmart, the limit is much higher, up to or over ¢100,000 colones.
Depending on the retailer, some continue to automatically provide customers with a voucher.
The change is based on the Regulation of the Payment Card System, which entered into force on November 24, 2020, but which for some measures established specific deadlines, such as January 1, 2021.
In the same regulation, the maximum commissions that may be charged by the providers of the card system to the businesses are established.
It also contains elements to develop the efficiency and security of the card system and guarantee the lowest possible cost for members.
The Regulations are based on the Ley de Comisiones Máximas del Sistema de Tarjetas (Ley 9831) – Law of Maximum Commissions of the Card System that is currently maxed at 2.5% set by the Central Bank to businesses for accepting card payments
Carlos Melegatti, director of the Payment Systems Division of the Central Bank, explained that the changes seek to make the card payment system more efficient, more ecological, reduce costs that today has the generation of a váucher and is safer because the customer does not have to hand over the card, which also contributes to the fight against the coronavirus.
The new provisions
Article 16 of the new regulation provides that for any payment transaction carried out within the country, the printed receipt of said transaction will be delivered, only at the request of the client.
From the 1st. January 2021, that rule came into effect for quick payments, which are purchases of less than ¢30,000, and from the 1st. July 2021, it will be for purchases greater than that amount.
Articles 18 and 19 of the Regulation establish that, no later than December 31, national issuers must electronically notify their customers, in less than one minute, all payment transactions, whether they are initiated in their own networks or those of third parties.
This notification is sent to the client’s email, or through any other channel previously agreed between the parties.
Article 28 of the Regulation indicates that the client must have access to the dataphone and observe the amount to be charged.
“The affiliate must ensure that they have the appropriate infrastructure at the point of sale, so that the acquirer can install the POS (the point of sale terminal) in a way that remains easily accessible to the customer (at their fingertips), located in the same place where you receive the good or service, with the purpose that said client can carry out the payment operation personally, using the contactless payment functionality, without detaching oneself from his payment device,” it indicates verbatim Article.
So, the next time you are asked for your card, you can refuse to hand it over; it is the obligation of the business to make the dataphone available to you to either pay contactless or swipe or insert the card yourself.