"Cash payments are more expensive for retailers, not cheaper"

The handling costs for cash payment are for most retailers higher than those for electronic payments, says a Belgian survey. However, some caution is necessary as the survey is not completely objective.


6 cents cheaper?

Electronic payments (with a card or contactless) are usually cheaper than accepting cash, the Belgian Federal Public Service Economy has calculated according to local newspaper De Standaard. They estimate the cost of an electronic transaction for a Belgian retailer to be between 0.11 and 0.23 euros, and compare that to a Dutch survey on cash payment fees that estimated a cost of 0.29 euros per transaction.


The FPS Economy analysed the costs for four types of retailer, three of which had electronic payment as the cheapest alternative. Depending on the type of business and the type of transaction, the cost of cashless transactions has decreased by 1.8 to 26 %, De Standaard writes.


It is however not sure how objective the survey was, as its goal was to settle an argument between Economy Minister Kris Peeters and a group of retailers. The latter were unhappy with the new rule that they can not let the customers pay (a part of) the fees for electronic payments, and the Minister has used this survey to point out that electronic payments are actually cheaper and therefore the new rule stays.