Legislative changes for modern payment systems

Law 206/09.11.2016 for amending and supplementing Government Ordinance 193/2002 regarding the introduction of modern payment systems came into force on 1 January 2017, as follows:

Legal entities performing retail and producing an annual turnover of more than 10,000 Euros equivalent in Lei, have the following obligations:  
  1. To accept both debit and credit cards as means of payment;
  2. To provide the advance cash payment service at payment terminals under agreements concluded with accepting institutions and to pay cash advances according to this ordinance. They display the sign of granting this service in a visible spot, as well as information on the service costs. The advance is distinctly highlighted on tax receipts and may not exceed 200 Lei. Cash advance transactions are assimilated to cash withdrawals at ATM’s and transaction-related fees are set according to agreements in force between the parties. Retailers can charge cardholders a fee not exceeding 1% of the advance granted. In case the amount existing at the cash desk, at the disposal of retailers accepting cards, does not cover the amount requested by a card user, they will receive the amount available.
In this respect, legal entities will address the banks to conclude relevant agreements. Banks are required to meet requests within 30 days.

Among contraventions, there are:  
  • lack of displaying the sign regarding granting cash advances and service costs; - fine of 5,000 Lei up to 15,000 Lei;
  • refusal of legal persons to accept debit cards and credit cards as means of payment -  fine of 5,000 Lei up to 7,500 Lei;
  • destruction, damage or technical modification of payment terminals that can cause erroneous entries or may generate frauds; - fine of 20,000-50,000 Lei.

The methodological standards implementing the law have not been published at the time of this notice (it is expected within 30 days from the date of coming into force namely on 1 January 2017).

ATTENTION! Customers who have installed POS devices must contact the banks to sign agreements on granting cash advances.