The Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) in a circular to the banks and credit card companies, noted that credit cards issued in Haiti must be paid for exclusively in the local currency, the Gourde, (One Gurde=US$0.01 cents) regardless of where the transaction took place.
“In other words, whether the operation was carried out in Haiti or abroad, the regulation must be worded in gourde. At the time the cardholder makes a payment transaction using its credit card, the amount must be displayed in gourde at the electronic terminal payment,” the bank said in a move seen here as clamping down on the leakage of foreign exchange here.
The Central Bank said that as of December 1, 2017, the invoicing of transactions carried out in Haiti and abroad by a card issued in Haiti is exclusively in gourde.
“Banks and credit card companies are required to ensure that merchants and affiliated professionals comply strictly with the provisions of this Circular. For the edification and consumer protection, banks and credit card companies are required to display day rates visibly at least two points of each of their branches.”
It said that failure to comply with the new measures could result in the BRH demanding the immediate cessation of the offending practice, take administrative sanctions, in particular a letter of reprimand against the wrongful institution and may apply a fine of 100,000 gourdes for each violation found.
“In addition, as a result of documented complaints from a customer and judged to be justified by the BRH, the latter may recommend the return of the indus paid by the customer, without prejudice to the remedies available to the customer.”
The BRH said that any fine will be deducted from the balance of one of the accounts of the bank at fault with the BRH.
“However, the payment of any fine by a credit card company will be made by management check payable to the Bank of the Republic of Haiti, no later than three working days after receipt of the notice requiring payment. In case of non-payment within the deadline, penalties for delay will be applied additionally,” it added.
The BRH said the foreign currency balance of the credit cards issued in Haiti on the customer’s statement of account must be converted into gourde at 31 March 2018 at the latest at the BRH reference rate.
- Countries: Haiti