Minister takes aim at swipe fee

Annette Vilhelmsen wants to clarify the rules surrounding payment card fees so that customers won’t have to foot the bill for faulty card terminals

The new business and growth minister, Annette Vilhelmsen, only just assumed her position last week after defeating Astrid Krag in the battle to fill the void left by Villy Søvndal's departure as leader of the Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF).

But she’s already thrown herself into the thick of things after swiftly criticising payment cards acquirer Teller for implementing a new credit card fee that will charge customers 7.50 kroner for using the magnetic swipe strip instead of the chip.

Vilhelmsen wants to make sure that customers won’t be charged for something that isn’t their fault, such as a faulty or dirty card terminal.

“It has been clear that you can’t charge fees to customers if they pay with debit cards like Dankort, but for credit cards, this case illustrates that there is doubt,” Vilhelmsen told TV2 News. “As a result, I will clarify the rules. Consumers shouldn’t be paying when there are technical problems or errors with the credit card terminal.”

Vilhelmsen is unsure who will pay the fees, but stressed that it should not be customers.

“We will find out whether the fee will go under operating costs. But it won’t be the customer that pays. I will change regulations so that the rules are clear and precise,” Vilhelmsen told TV2 News.

The supermarket giant Coop, which own Fakta, SuperBrugsen, Irma and Kvickly , was quick to assure their customers that they wouldn't be encountering the fee in their stores.

"Our customers won't be paying the fee and they won't be paying it indirectly either," Jens Juul Nielsen, a spokesperson for Coop Denmark, told Ritzau.