Already three years ago, BNB listed 6.2 million debit cards and 1.2 million credit cards. The big boom happened not because people wanted to be fashionable and go without cash in their pockets, but because of the regulatory requirements that salaries and pensions (with few exceptions), scholarships and all social payments go into a bank account and not be paid in cash .
More than half of cardholders quickly learned to save time and money and pay directly at a POS terminal in the store, rather than running to an ATM and paying for their purchases in cash. And there is a reason. Bank fees are growing and will continue to grow.
The good news is that cash withdrawal fees increase at a slower rate than other bank fees. At the expense of this, however, the accompanying “invisible” fees associated with owning a bank card, such as monthly account maintenance, are growing. It generally varies between BGN 2 and 3 for debit cards. And de facto banks have the option to increase them whenever and by as much as they decide, after notifying their customers in advance, writes “Maritsa”.
The “My Money” financial guide tracked how one of the most popular services is being changed – namely withdrawing money from an ATM. The reference shows that there is still a free service (with two banks and under certain conditions), but the mass fee is BGN 0.30, if it is withdrawn from a machine installed by the bank issuing the card.
However, almost half of the banks have already adopted a different methodology for their commission, and it is no longer a fixed amount. It is calculated as a percentage of the withdrawn amount, but there is also a set lower limit below which the fee does not fall. For example, between 0.1 and 0.16 percent, but a minimum of BGN 0.30 (see tables). This means that the larger the amount we request from the ATM, the more expensive we will pay.
Fees for withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM have always been and will always be higher. They start from BGN 1 and reach 0.20%, min. BGN 1.50, for each operation, comments from the platform. Again, half of the banks charge a fixed amount that varies from BGN 1 to BGN 1.20, while the others have a fixed minimum between BGN 1.20 and BGN 1.50 and deduct a percentage of the amount (between 0.1 and 0.2 percent).
In both cases, it is notable that smaller banks charge lower fees for this service. However, the big ones take more from their customers, even though they have more customers.
A study from last year showed that the bank card occupies the second place (54 percent) among the preferred payment methods by Bulgarians, while cash continues to hold the first position with 67 percent. This is shown by the results of the international survey “Attitudes towards payment methods”, commissioned by “Evo Group” in partnership with “Visa” in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
However, the picture is changing little by little and cashless payments are increasingly being used in large stores. There is no fee for the customer when using a POS terminal. It is borne by the merchant. This is also the reason why some small shops stubbornly refuse to install a terminal.