11 May 2023, Budapest - Fizetési Pont Kft., an undertaking operating bank card terminal, has misled its business customers, an investigation by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has revealed. The GVH therefore ordered the company to pay financial compensation to the merchants concerned. The undertaking will credit HUF 8,000 to each customer that signed up during the infringing campaigns.
The Hungarian Competition Authority has closed its investigation into the case of the business campaigns of Fizetési Pont Kft. which installs and operates bank card terminals The procedure revealed that the undertaking had unfairly influenced its customers' business decisions in a number of ways. In its campaigns, the undertaking has concealed from merchants that the installation of terminals is not enough for them to accept credit cards, but that they need a long-term (3-5 years) account management and payment contract with another undertaking in the group, and that the two services can only be used together. In addition, the undertaking misleadingly promoted certain elements of its offer as discounts and promotions - in particular the fees for installing and operating card terminals, as well as the merchant commission and its rate.
The GVH’s Competition Council assessed as aggravating factors in relation to the infringement, inter alia, that it targeted a group of micro and small businesses with a lower level of awareness of the infringement and that it had an impact over a long period of time (financial services with a long-term commitment). However, the GVH also took into account that the undertaking had corrected the misleading practice partly voluntarily.
The authority accepted - and at the same time imposed as an obligation - the reparation measures undertaken by Fizetési Pont Kft. to compensate for the infringement. Based on this, a free credit of HUF 8,000 will be given to any merchant that signed a contract with the undertaking during the four infringing campaigns (2020-2021) and is still a customer of the undertaking. The amount of reparation is higher than the fine that could be imposed on the basis of the costs of the infringing campaigns (HUF 17 million), and it is also provides direct compensation to the parties concerned. The GVH's decision thus serves the public interest more effectively than imposing a fine on the undertaking.
The undertaking must make the credits within 30 days of receiving the decision, informing its customers of the compensation and the reason for it. The GVH will check that the remedies are properly implemented after the deadline.
Official registration number of the case: VJ/21/2021.
GVH Public Service Communications and International Section
Bálint Horváth, Head of Communication +36 20 238 6939
Katalin Gondolovics, Spokesperson +36 30 603 1170