Hidden fees continue, despite EU transparency law: An open letter from the tech community to the European Parliament

Brigit Carroll

Cross-border payments are a secret rip-off: European consumers lost 12.5 billion in hidden fees in a single year. In 2018, the European Union introduced a landmark rule to fix this. The goal was to give price transparency to consumers sending cross-border payments in the EU: the Revised Cross-Border Payments Regulation (CBPR2).

Its goal is to ensure consumers understand what they’re paying, before making a payment. The rule requires transparent pricing for consumers sending cross-border bank transfers from one EU country to another EU country, cross-currency (e.g. sending money from France to Romania). According to the law, “all currency conversion charges” must be shown to the consumer, before making the payment.

But today, big banks and other providers are continuing to hide fees in exchange rate mark-ups. That’s when they deliberately give you an exchange rate that’s much worse than the one you see on Google.

We came together with a group of tech companies in Europe to call on the European Parliament to take notice. As long as CBPR2 isn’t applied and enforced, European consumers will continue to lose out.

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