Credit Cards and Regulation

Limiting the fees charged in Costa Rica and establishing a law that defines market limits in Guatemala are part of the attempts being made in the region to regulate the use of credit cards.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A law proposal presented last January before the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, aims to regulate the percentage of the commission paid by businesses for credit or debit cards. According to the initiative, this task would be in charge of the Central Bank and the Commission to Promote Competition.

See "Commission Regulation for Card Payments"

In addition to the proposed law, the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) examined the possibility of fixing the percentages to the commissions charged according to its organic law in force, however, it was concluded that it is currently not feasible to attribute these powers.

This conclusion was reached after the Legal Advisory Division of the BCCR will conduct an analysis of this possibility, at the request of the manager of the institution, Eduardo Prado, which was conducted on December 28, 2018.

Nacion.com reports that the conclusion of the Legal Advisory Division of the BCCR was that "... the legal bases given by Articles 2 and 69 of the Organic Law of the Central Bank do not satisfy the requirements already described of the need to comply in this matter with the above-mentioned Principle of Legality, for which reason they are not enough to support a regulation by this Entity of the percentages or rates of exchange or acquisition of credit cards."

Costa Rica is not the only country in the region where attempts are currently being reported to regulate the credit card market, as Guatemala has been trying for years to implement a law for the sector.

Also see "New Setback for Credit Card Law" y and "New Attempt to Regulate Credit Cards".

On March 8, 2016, the Credit Card Law came into force. However, after the business chambers, card issuers and the Bank of Guatemala filed legal appeals before the Constitutional Court (CC), it was suspended on March 31 of the same year.

After the Law was declared unconstitutional, on January 30 a new proposal was presented before the Congress of the Republic, whose main objectives are to establish controls and limits to interest rates and other charges that are currently not fixed.

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More on this topic

Credit Card Law: Progress on New Proposal

December 2019

Last December 2, the new Credit Card Law proposal received a favorable opinion from the Economy Commission of the Guatemalan Congress, and now it should be discussed in the plenary session.

This is the second attempt made in the country to regulate the credit card market, since on March 8, 2016 a law came into force, which was suspended weeks later, because the business chambers, card issuers and the Bank of Guatemala filed legal appeals before the Constitutional Court (CC). At the beginning of 2019 the law was definitively declared unconstitutional by the CC.

Banking Cards: Commission Regulation Announced

July 2019

In Costa Rica, the authorities will begin to regulate the fees that form part of the commissions, which are charged when an electronic payment is made.

After the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) requested the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) on July 27, 2018, the investigation of the interbank rates market in the service of acquiring electronic payment methods, Opinion No.

Credit Cards: Discussion Continues in Guatemala

May 2019

Regarding the new bill presented to Congress at the beginning of 2019, the Superintendence of Banks is of the opinion that the interest rate should not be limited.

The Credit Card Law came into force on March 8, 2016, but was suspended at the end of the same month, after business chambers, card issuers and the Bank of Guatemala filed legal appeals before the Constitutional Court (CC).

New Attempt to Regulate Credit Cards

January 2019

After the law seeking to regulate the credit card market in Guatemala was declared unconstitutional, a new proposal was presented.

The Credit Card Law that was declared unconstitutional at the beginning of 2019, entered into force on March 8, 2016, however, after the business chambers, card issuers and the Bank of Guatemala filed legal appeals before the Constitutional Court (CC), was suspended on March 31 of that year.

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