The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has announced that the North Gauteng High Court has ordered Barko Financial Services based in Burgersfort, Mpumalanga to stop charging and to refund consumers a service provider fee for processing payments. If added to the service fee under the consumers’ credit agreements, the move by Barko adds to more than R50.
The High Court judgment confirms an earlier ruling by the National Consumer Tribunal that ordered Barko to stop charging and to refund consumers the service provider fees charged in excess of the maximum prescribed service fee of R50.
The service provider fee collected by Barko from consumers is charged for the processing of repayments by Nupay Solutions on credit agreements entered into between Barko and consumers.
The court found that the National Credit Act (NCA) does not make provision for the consumer to pay an additional fee which would exceed the prescribed maximum service fee of R50. The court also noted that it is Barko that benefits from the services of Nupay and not the consumers. It heard that approximately 90% of Barko’s consumers use the Nupay system.
The court found that Barko should refund consumers the amount of the service provider fee paid in excess of the prescribed maximum service fee of R50.
“The High Court has confirmed the National Consumer Tribunal’s ruling that this fee is part of the service fee as prescribed in the National Credit Act and thus, should not be charged over and above the prescribed maximum service fee of R50”, said Nomsa Motshegare, Chief Executive Officer at the National Credit Regulator.
This is an edited statement issued by the NCR