In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, government of Portugal established temporary measures to encourage the acceptance of card-based payments.

PORTUGAL: Promotion of card-based payments during COVID-19 pandemic

Decree-Law no. 10-H / 2020 published on 26th March 2020 establishes exceptional and temporary measures to encourage the acceptance of card-based payments in Portugal, due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

In order to prevent and fight spreading of corona virus, it is very important to facilitate and encourage the use of electronic payment instruments, such as card-based payments, to the detriment of traditional means of payment, such as coins and banknotes.

Some of the main points are listed as follows:

  • The collection of the fixed component of any commission is suspended for a card payment transaction carried out at automatic payment terminals.
  • Payment service providers are prohibited to increase the variable components of operational fees, as well as any other fixed fees which were not suspended previously, for a card payment transaction carried out at automatic payment terminals.
  • Payment service providers are prohibited to charge the new fixed nor variable commissions related to the acceptance of card payment transactions carried out at automatic payment terminals.
  • Beneficiaries of card payments that provide automatic payment terminals cannot refuse nor limit the acceptance of cards for payment of any goods or services, regardless of the value of the operation during the period when the decree-law is in force.

This decree-law comes into force on the day following its publication and is effective until June 30th 2020.

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