The European Commission has announced the release of a proposal aimed at reducing the costs of cross-border euro payments for consumers.
The proposal, if adopted, is expected to impact money transfers between euro and non-euro countries as well as between EU countries outside the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Effectively, the existing cross-border payments regulation would be extended to all transactions made in euros.
Put simply, cross-border and domestic payments would incur the same fees, reducing transaction costs to a few euros or even cents. Currently, the fees are costing consumers billions of euros annually. In some non-euro area member states, a simple credit transfer can incur fees up to 24 euros for a transfer of 10 euros.
The proposal on cross-border payments also recommended to increase transparency and competition to currency conversion services for EU consumers making transactions in another currency, e.g. when using their card abroad.