Tenants will lose credit card option

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Tenants will lose credit card option



Paying monthly apartment maintenance fees with plastic will no longer be an option starting in September as credit card companies and the gateway firm that handles most payments have failed to agree on transaction fees, market observers said yesterday.

Shinhan Card, KB Kookmin Card, Hyundai Card, Lotte Card, Hana Card, BC Card and Woori Card said they have no choice but to stop the service after Aegis Enterprise end its contract.

Currently, Aegis Enterprise, which handles a 3.6 trillion won ($3.3 billion) in apartment maintenance fees annually, pays no credit card transaction fees.

Aegis has been negotiating with card companies for transaction fees as a revised credit finance law mandating a 2 percent fee takes effect in September.

“We notified the company of a new transaction fee in accordance with the revised law, but it demanded we lower the fee,” said an industry source at a credit card company. “We’re aware of the inconvenience customers will suffer, but we decided to completely halt card payment service for apartment maintenance fees because we have to be fair about applying transaction fees to all businesses.”

Market observers estimate 2.5 million people pay apartment maintenance fees with plastic.

Card companies said they will notify customers in advance that they will not be able to pay apartment maintenance fees starting in September.

Services for some credit cards designed to offer discounts for paying apartment maintenance fees will be discontinued as well, they said.

Card companies halted issuing new cards that offer such discounts this month.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joonang.co.kr]
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