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Even if the Estonian population is used  having banknotes in their pockets, this custom is going to change by January, when the Euro will start filling (also) Estonian pockets with coins.

As published by the Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht, this will also translate into a great loss for Estonian retailers.

Although banks expect that people are going to use more credit cards for payments, retailers are not sure about what is going to be better, and are unsure if they should recommend the payments with credit card or with cash.

Some figures

For retailers, payments with credit card are more expensive than traditional ones as they require a payment for the terminal together with a percentage between 0.1 till 2% of the transaction’s value.

Which, in more concrete terms, means that a small shop has to pay around 2 EEK for a 100 EEK operation.

However, the situation for large supermarkets is better, as their volume allows to have better contract conditions  with banks, something that translates into approximately no more than 0.5% of a regular transaction.

As of today we do not know if such commission fees will be reduced or not once the Euro arrives: The European Union is considering unifying the fee for the whole Europe, even though the banks have already expressed some scepticism about it.


Expert suggests: use the cards

The manager of the ETK retail chain and one of the Retailers Association, Kati Kusmin, pointed out that the payments with credit card are increasing and she added that “after the transition to the euro, the increase of card payments may be faster and may change the customary method of payment for customers as the share of coins in our wallets increases and  is more uncomfortable to carry around. It is difficult to forecast how big the growth will be”

Kusmin also said that the best option is to pay by credit card at least during the first Euro-days in order to avoid the problems that could come with the simultaneous use of the two currencies.


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