Brussels > 5.11.18 – Know What You Pay has launched the World’s Most Confusing Souvenir Stand outside the European Parliament on the day of a vote on transparency for cross-border payments.
The stand stocks souvenirs that have several prices spanning multiple values and currencies to highlight the issue of cross-border payment transparency, and all feature a cartoon drawn by renowned artist, LECTRR. The one-off satirical cartoon features iconic Brussels statue, Manneken Pis ‘Pis-sing’ away billions in EU consumers’ money while MEPs look on in horror.
Open for one day only, the stand has been erected on the day of the vote at this prominent location to invoke consumer outrage and encourage MEPs to do the right thing and vote Yes for transparency in cross-border payments.
Know What You Pay – a TransferWise-backed group campaigning for the cause has found that banks and foreign exchange services are hiding fees from their customers to the tune of €12.5billion per year whenever they send or spend money internationally.
If passed, the European Parliament could force all banks and foreign exchange providers in the EU to be upfront about the cost of making international payments, with more than €4billion possibly returned to consumers every year.
Under current financial legislation in the EU, banks and other foreign currency providers can hide the bulk of the cost of a transaction in a bad exchange rate. This means that they make most of their money by offering customers a worse exchange rate than the real rate and it requires consumers to do a complicated calculation to work out the real cost and choose the best deal.
Flora Coleman, Head of Government Relations at TransferWise said: “Consumers are being charged billions and there’s no reason to hide these fees other than greed. The banking lobby wants to water down the proposals going before the European Parliament, but we’re 100% fighting for a Yes to transparency. If this doesn’t get passed now, it will take years before the issue is raised again. It’s now or never to protect people’s hard-earned cash.
“The World’s Most Confusing Souvenir Stand is a physical manifestation of the daily bewilderment and outrage faced by consumers pis-ing their money away when transferring money abroad through traditional banks and services.”
People can help change the law by signing up to knowwhatyoupay.eu
For more information contact the press office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Research was conducted by Consumer Intelligence Ltd. “Hidden fees” are defined by Consumer Intelligence as the margin changed by a payment provider (bank, boutique or alternative payment provider) on a cross border transaction that does not include any published fee for commercial activities but have included published fees for household activities.
TransferWise is a new kind of financial company for people and businesses that travel, live and work internationally. It’s the fairest, easiest way to manage your money across borders. With a simple money transfer platform and borderless accounts, it makes managing your money quick, easy and painless.
Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, TransferWise launched in 2011. It is one of the world’s most successful fintech startups having raised $397m from investors such as IVP, Old Mutual, Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures and Max Levchin of PayPal.
Over four million people use TransferWise to transfer over €3 billion every month, saving themselves over €3 million every day.
From left to right on cartoon: EPP Rapporteur: Eva Maydell MEP, S&D Shadow Rapporteur: Olle Ludvigsson MEP, ECR Shadow Rapporteur: StanisÅ‚aw Ozog MEP, ALDE Shadow Rapporteur: Petr JeÅ¾ek MEP, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Unnamed Austrian representative