PAYMENTS ASSOCIATION OF NAMIBIA (PAN) Public notice to prohibit the setting of transaction limits and surcharges




1. Introduction and Background

The Payment Association of Namibia (PAN) is empowered by the Pay-ment System Management Act (PSM Act), 2003 (as amended), Section (3)(1) to manage the National Payment System (NPS). With this comes the responsibility to ensure compliance within the NPS to local and inter-national card operating rules and regulations.

PAN has learned that some merchants are adding a surcharge (ad-ditional fee) to card transactions or are setting minimum or maximum transaction amounts as a condition for accepting debit or credit cards for payment. Such practices have a negative impact on consumers and are in direct violation of VISA International Operating Regulations (ID#: 111011-010410-0006948 and ID#: 111011-210710-0026405) and MasterCard Rule 5.11.3.

2. Acquirers and Merchants

Acquirers and Merchants must comply with all card operating rules and regulations to protect the integrity of the payment systems.

Merchants are reminded that they are required to:

• Treat all debit and credit card payments like any other method of pay-ment without additional costs (surcharges) added to the value.

• Honour valid debit and credit cards in their acceptance category re-gardless of the dollar amount of the purchase.

Acquiring banks are reminded to ensure:

• Merchants do not differentiate methods of payments by imposing a surcharge fee on any card payments.

• Merchants do not impose a minimum or maximum purchase amount for the acceptance of card transactions.

3. PAN’s Position

Carrying around large amounts of cash poses a risk to the individual. With a debit or credit card, you can pay for goods and services in a safe and secure manner. Cards also offer a fast and convenient way to shop. Penalising consumers for using payment cards is not only in contraven-tion of card operating rules, but also unfairly shifts the cost of electronic payments onto the consumer.

4. Complaints and Penalties

The public is encouraged to report any non-compliance with this notice to PAN. If PAN becomes aware of a merchant’s non-compliance with any operating rules and regulations, PAN may notify the acquirer of such non-compliance and the acquirer must promptly ensure the merchant discontinues the non-compliance practice immediately.

Failure to comply with this notice, PAN may pursue remedial measure(s) as provided under Section (16A)(1) of Payment System Management Act, 2003 (as amended), or the relevant card operating rules and regulations.

5. Enquiries

All enquiries related to this notice shall be forwarded to:

The Chief Operating Officer (PAN)

P.O. Box 134 2nd Floor Rieks House
c/o Feld and Rieks van de Walt Street, Ausspannplatz Windhoek

Telephone: 061 – 415 420