Paying your electricity bill online may be convenient but it does not come cheap. HESCOM website charges an extra amount if one pays through their credit or debit card and residents are not amused.
RBI Circular says –
“Levying fees on debit card transactions by merchants – There are instances where merchant establishments levy fee as a percentage of the transaction value as charges on customers who are making payments for purchase of goods and services through debit cards. Such fee are not justifiable and are not permissible as per the bilateral agreement between the acquiring bank and the merchants and therefore calls for termination of the relationship of the bank with such establishments.”
Merchants not supposed to levy fee on debit card transaction to customers
In fact, it is ironical that although electronic payments work out to be cheaper for banks than cash and cheque, they are inclined to charging merchants and customers for transaction charges on credit cards and debit cards whereas transaction charges involved in cash and cheque are almost nil.
What about credit cards?
For credit cards too, issuing banks do not charge customers any transaction fee, except in case of railway ticket booking through IRCTC and petrol surcharge. Yet, merchants levy transaction charge they face, on customers. You can stand up to them. Try asking them to share with you the bank clause that allows them to levy transaction charge on customers.
In this case as well, HESCOM is a MERCHANT according to the agreement with Billdesk(the payment gateway company) then isn’t this violation of the Rule. Worst part being you wont come to know about the extra charges until you log into your Bank site for payment.