Letters to Editor
Published Date: 22 May 2014

Response to "Hidden charges in credit card transactions" - ST Forum, 15 May 2014

Dear Editor,

We thank Mr Tushar Tarun Bansal for his feedback on the need for card issuers to disclose the additional fees charged on credit card transactions routed overseas. (“Hidden charges in credit card transactions”; 15 May 2014)

We agree with Mr Bansal that fees and charges relating to credit card transactions be disclosed to consumers. Under ABS’ Code of Practice on Credit Cards, a card issuer has to provide every new cardholder with a highlight of its key terms and conditions, which include the fees and charges imposed for foreign currency transactions.

Generally, card issuers in Singapore also state in their terms and conditions that Singapore dollar payments routed through overseas payment processors attract additional service charges, which may vary from bank to bank.
Nevertheless, more can be done to improve transparency and disclosure to consumers. In this regard, ABS and the banks, in consultation with MAS, have been working closely to develop, among other initiatives, a Product Highlight Sheet (PHS) on credit cards for consumers, based on each bank’s specific terms and conditions. The PHS will contain the key terms of use of the credit card, including the payment grace period, interest and late payment charges, fees for foreign currency transactions and dynamic currency conversion, as well as payment hierarchy. Mr Bansal’s feedback provides useful inputs on how disclosure standards can be further enhanced, as the industry reviews the specific contents for the PHS, which is targeted to be introduced by Q3 2014.

Merlyn Ee (Ms)
Executive Director (Strategic Planning & Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Ong-Ang Ai Boon (Mrs)
The Association of Banks in Singapore