With businesses everywhere reeling from the impacts of the spread of the coronavirus, major payments industry players are stepping up to soften the blow.
PayPal announced this week that its business customers could request to defer repayments on loans and cash advances. The company is also waiving fees for instant funds transfers and chargebacks under certain conditions.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our national and global economies, creating jobs and helping local communities and families thrive. When they succeed, we all succeed. We are taking immediate steps to help our small business customers who are most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to help them navigate these challenging times,” Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, said in a press release.
“This is just the beginning. We all need to step up to support our small businesses. We are actively working with governments and private sector partners to help support businesses in this time of need.”
According to Bloomberg, Visa and Mastercard have opted to delay their planned interchange fee changes until this summer. The move is intended to help merchants who are struggling and to maintain stability by avoiding changes to systems during the crisis.
“Now, more than ever, we’re putting all our power, capabilities, and technology to work to keep commerce flowing,” the article quoted Seth Eisen, a spokesman for Mastercard, as saying.
“To help our customers and partners manage through this unprecedented event, we are pausing updates to some systems while delivering the same level of security and service they receive every day.”
The networks are planning to push the fee changes, which were scheduled to be implemented in April, back to July.
While merchants who were planning for rate increases from the card brands welcome the relief, there are some for whom the news means a delay in rate reductions.
In Canada, the networks were planning to reduce their average rates from 1.5% to 1.4% on domestic consumer credit-card transactions to honor an agreement with the Canadian government, according to The Globe and Mail.
The networks are considering ways to uphold the agreement, including offering rebates or larger reductions later.
“We remain committed to the interchange undertaking [in Canada] and will comply with our commitment,” the article quoted a Visa spokesperson as saying.