Many of them dealing with plastic money for the first time, small traders of Chandigarh plan to request the Reserve Bank of India to lower bank charges on such transactions from the current 2 per cent to a minimum 0.5 per cent.
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It is the trader who has to pay the 2 per cent bank charge on every transaction through a point-of-sale machine. Many outlets that have newly started using these machines since demonetisation, however, have been passing that burden on to the customer, charging 2 per cent extra on the actual sale amount. Other small traders have noted that machine transactions leave them with little profit and taken up the matter with the traders body Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, which will submit a representation this week to the Reserve Bank of India.
“Small traders are left with no profit if they pay the bank charge,” said Beopar Mandal president Anil Vohra. “So we will request the RBI that the bank charge be brought down to 0.5 per cent.” Beopar Mandal chairman Charanjiv Singh said bank charges in other countries were very nominal.
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Until then, traders have been trying various ways to cushion the blow, including a reduction on discounts. “For example, if I offer a discount of 10 per cent and I know I will be left with very little profit if the customer pays by card, I tell my customer I will offer him an 8 per cent discount. In the end it is the customer who is at loss,”said Radhe Lal, a trader in beauty products, calling for a reduction in bank charge.