Minimum spend policy not right

Barbados merchants who demand that consumers spend an imposed minimum amount in order to pay by debit card are being warned to stop the practice.

Caribbean Integrated Financial Services Inc (CarIFS), the technological infrastructure that facilitates payments via debit card at points-of-sale locations today said it had been receiving numerous complaints from consumers who were being denied use of such cards for transactions that fell below certain merchants’ stated minimum spend.

However, CarIFS said its regulations prohibit merchants from directly or indirectly enforcing a minimum spend requirement for point-of-sale purchases.

Tony Del Castilho, general manager of Prism Financial Processing Services Limited, CarIFS’ management company, said the CarIFS network promoted its services as a safer alternative to travelling with large amounts of cash.

“With an imposed minimum spend consumers are forced to travel with cash, which can be a riskier payment option,” he said, reiterating that consumers had the right to use their debit cards for transaction of “any value”.

He said the practice by some merchants of adding a fee or surcharge on card payments was also against regulations.

Encouraging merchants to adhere to the policy, which is intended to benefit both merchants and consumers, Del Castilho explained that a minimum spend policy could actually hurt businesses.

“It is more likely that a consumer will walk away from a purchase than be forced to spend more than they planned,” he said, while also appealing with customers who encounter such situations to report the offending merchants to the company.

Source: (PR)

5 Responses to Minimum spend policy not right

  1. Greengiant April 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks very much Mr Castillo. This has been the case for many years, I always thought the practice was illegal but was not aware of the supplier/vendor agreement.

    This only further reinforces the type of merchants in Barbados and how they treat the customers on who’s income they depend for their survival. It also, again exposes both leading political parties, both of whom would have in charge of the ministry of consumer affairs over the years. The BCCI has also been stripped naked as some of their members would have contributed to this either as merchant or customer and remained silent though knowing the facts.

    This criminal act against consumers and contract violation with the system provider has deprived poor people of millions in disposal income over the years. There’s no amount of excuses or reasoning to justify this practice.

    • jennifer April 29, 2017 at 9:07 am

      No Surprise, everybody using this people.

  2. Milli Watt April 29, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    ask the FTC if they ain’t get a complaint on this and ask them what they do bout it. this crowd that passes them off as business people are the worse. experience this at the cave hill campus and nothing done.

  3. Lamaj April 30, 2017 at 10:50 am

    There are several companies in Barbados who also charge a minimum amount for credit card purchases or attach a fee (whether as a dollar amount or a percentage) if the customer wants to use credit cards. This is against the agreements the vendors have with Visa and Mastercard. I have checked. When these companies are reported the credit card company complains to the vendor’s bank and in some instances revoke the license to use the credit card company’s product. It is stealing and these vendors must be named and shamed but, more importantly, reported to Visa and Mastercard so they can be dealt with. For my part, I simply don’t spend my money with these crooks.

  4. Donild Trimp April 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    As I have stated before. this is how a banana republic operates.

    Barbados is on the verge of becoming a banana republic.

    Businesses flout the regulations left, right and centre knowing quite well that in Barbados they can get away with anything illegal.

    A friend of mine was charged $98 US plus tax for a bottle of “DAVIDOFF HORIZON” at a well known duty free establishment in Barbados.

    The same size bottle cost $20 Canadian in Toronto.


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