“Sorry – we don't accept card payments for less than €15.”
It has to be one of the most irritating sentences you can come across during a shopping transaction, especially if you're not carrying cash.
But you might not be hearing it for long in France.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Wednesday that he planned to abolish the fixed-rate commission that banks charge one another to process card payments, which are in place no matter what amount a customer has to pay.
The variable commission will stay in place, which is based on a percentage of the purchase amount.
“I don't want any more obstacles when it comes to paying by card,” Sapin told French newspaper Le Parisien.
In other words, buying a single pint of beer or a coffee will no longer be a cash-only affair, as it is in many locations around the country today.
Sapin also introduced plans for a site with price comparisons for banking fees, comparing a set of operations like the fees for withdrawing cash from a competitor bank's ATM.