Why do our shops reject payment by credit cards?



IN a growing phenomenon, a large number of shops are categorically refusing to accept credit cards as a method of payment and ask consumers to pay in cash or through mada-linked debit cards.

I asked a sales clerk in one of the shops why he was refusing to accept credit cards such as Visa, Master Card or others? He told me that his uncle, who is the shop owner, had given the workers clear instructions not to accept credit cards for payment.

It seems that this uncle and other uncles are justifying their refusal to accept credit cards by the stance of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), which said shops are not obliged by law to accept credit cards as a means of payment.

SAMA has said there will not be any punishment on shops that refuse to accept the credit cards for payment.

My question here is: Why then the banks were allowed to issue millions of credit cards for consumers whether citizens or expatriates at fees reaching millions of riyals every year when counted together?

The credit cards are iss

ued to consumers by the banks on the guarantee that their salaries will be deposited in their bank accounts.

Was this just for showing off and vain ostentation or for use when traveling


In all other countries of the world traders accept payment by credit card irrespective of whether the purchase is big or small. In all other countries of the world traders accept payment by credit card irrespective of whether the purchase is big or small. You can purchase anything from a needle to an automobile paying with credit cards.

However, not all consumers travel regularly so as to use their credit cards issued locally to them. Some of them may travel for a few days once every few years while others never go out of the country.

Some of the consumers obtain the credit cards for use to make their purchases when they are short of cash. As soon as their salaries are deposited, the banks deduct the value of their purchases.

For these people, the credit cards are just like cash cards. They request the banks to deduct the amount of their purchases from their accounts once the salary is deposited into them to avoid paying any fees on the outstanding dues.

Preventing credit card holders from using them locally is ridiculous and it does not make any sense at all. The shops do this so as not to pay the banks a minimal fee from their profits.

I call for a black and white solution to this problem. Our shops should be made to accept the credit cards as a means of payment like in the other parts of the world or the banks should be prevented from issuing them in the first place so that the consumers can save their money spent on keeping the cards.

When the credit card holders travel abroad, they are respected by the banks and the shops readily accept them for payment.

By the way where is the Ministry of Commerce and Investment? Is it not concerned with this important commercial issue?