Regulation (EU) 2018/302 - EEA merchants can't refuse your Revolut card based on its country of issue

Regulation (EU) 2018/302 came into effect on 3rd December 2018, which prevents merchants in the European Economic Area from discriminating against consumers based on:

  • The EEA member state in which the consumer is located (e.g. including where this is based on IP address)
  • The consumer’s nationality
  • The EEA member state in which the consumer’s payment card is issued

With regard to using Revolut, my reason for this post is the last point, because I am sure that many of you, like me, have experienced merchants refusing to accept foreign cards, including Revolut cards. This is now unlawful, specifically breaching Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/302, which states:

A trader shall not, within the range of means of payment accepted by the trader, apply, for reasons related to a customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment, the location of the payment account, the place of establishment of the payment service provider or the place of issue of the payment instrument within the Union, different conditions for a payment transaction, where:

(a) the payment transaction is made through an electronic transaction by credit transfer, direct debit or a card-based payment instrument within the same payment brand and category;

(b) authentication requirements are fulfilled pursuant to Directive (EU) 2015/2366; and

(c) the payment transactions are in a currency that the trader accepts.

If you search for information about this regulation, commonly known as the Geoblocking Regulation, you will find a very useful FAQ for businesses, which is much easier to read than the raw legislation itself, although the raw legislation is available in 24 EU languages at the above link.

Before you get excited that you can now require an online retailer to send goods to anywhere in the EEA such as French Guiana, Campione d’Italia or the Canary Islands, the regulation does not require retailers to do so. A retailer can choose its delivery area, which can even be specific parts of one country. For example, many UK retailers do not deliver to Scottish Islands, let alone to other EEA countries. But a retailer cannot refuse to deliver to an address within its stated delivery coverage area by virtue of your home address being outside that coverage area.

Unfortunately financial services are excluded from the scope of the regulation, so ATMs are still allowed to charge fees to foreign cards but not locally-issued cards, which is often the case in Spain and Greece.


Unfortunately in Greece they discriminate EEA IBAN. They never accept EEA IBAN at all.
Companies in Greece when you work and get your salary They want only from a Greek Bank IBAN. :rage: I don’t get that…

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That’s a breach of Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, which states:

  1. A payer making a credit transfer to a payee holding a payment account located within the Union shall not specify the Member State in which that payment account is to be located, provided that the payment account is reachable in accordance with Article 3.

  2. A payee accepting a credit transfer or using a direct debit to collect funds from a payer holding a payment account located within the Union shall not specify the Member State in which that payment account is to be located, provided that the payment account is reachable in accordance with Article 3.

  1. Ο πληρωτής που προβαίνει σε μεταφορά πίστωσης προς δικαιούχο ο οποίος διατηρεί λογαριασμό πληρωμών εντός της Ένωσης δεν προσδιορίζει το κράτος μέλος στο οποίο πρέπει να βρίσκεται ο λογαριασμός πληρωμών, υπό την προϋπόθεση ότι ο εν λόγω λογαριασμός πληρωμών είναι προσβάσιμος σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 3.

  2. Ο δικαιούχος που δέχεται μεταφορά ή χρησιμοποιεί άμεση χρέωση για τη λήψη χρηματικών ποσών από πληρωτή ο οποίος διατηρεί λογαριασμό πληρωμών εντός της Ένωσης δεν προσδιορίζει το κράτος μέλος στο οποίο πρέπει να βρίσκεται ο εν λόγω λογαριασμός πληρωμών, υπό την προϋπόθεση ότι ο λογαριασμός πληρωμών είναι προσβάσιμος σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 3.


Interesting. And do you know who qualifies as a ‘merchant’ within the meaning of the Regulation?

Does this apply to all legal persons acting in the course of a business (e.g. would this cover an individual who is selling his second-hand goods on eBay)? Is there a revenue threshold that you need to meet in order for the Regulation to apply?

May I just ask, does this apply to video streaming services because given another EU directive that requires streaming services to make their content available to their paid subscribers anywhere within the EU’s boundaries, their ‘last line of defence’ appears to be the card’s billing address? When I tried keying in my card, it was declined because it wasn’t issued in the country that offers the service.

I used the term merchant, because that is the term preferred by the card industry. The regulation uses the term trader, which Article 2(18) defines as “any natural person or any legal person, irrespective of whether privately or publicly owned, who is acting, including through any other person acting in the name or on behalf of the trader, for purposes relating to the trade, business, craft or profession of the trader”.

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Unfortunately they are one of the exclusions. Article 1(3) states that “This Regulation does not apply to the activities referred to in Article 2(2) of Directive 2006/123/EC”, which in turn states:

This Directive shall not apply to the following activities:
(a) non-economic services of general interest;
(b) financial services, such as banking, credit, insurance and re-insurance, occupational or personal pensions, securities, investment funds, payment and investment advice, including the services listed in Annex I to Directive 2006/48/EC;
(c) electronic communications services and networks, and associated facilities and services, with respect to matters covered by Directives 2002/19/EC, 2002/20/EC, 2002/21/EC, 2002/22/EC and 2002/58/EC;
(d) services in the field of transport, including port services, falling within the scope of Title V of the Treaty;
(e) services of temporary work agencies;
(f) healthcare services whether or not they are provided via healthcare facilities, and regardless of the ways in which they are organised and financed at national level or whether they are public or private;
(g) audiovisual services, including cinematographic services, whatever their mode of production, distribution and transmission, and radio broadcasting;
(h) gambling activities which involve wagering a stake with pecuniary value in games of chance, including lotteries, gambling in casinos and betting transactions;
(i) activities which are connected with the exercise of official authority as set out in Article 45 of the Treaty;
(j) social services relating to social housing, childcare and support of families and persons permanently or temporarily in need which are provided by the State, by providers mandated by the State or by charities recognised as such by the State;
(k) private security services;
(l) services provided by notaries and bailiffs, who are appointed by an official act of government.

Thank you. This legislative initiative is an amazing step forward.


We still need stronger legislation to strengthen the Union. The next thing I would propose is having the EU recognised like the USA is, including in copyright terms. This would allow Netflix, Apple etc to sell across the bloc as if it were a single country while still being within their copyright holders good books.


Every job I have ever work, they never accept my EU IBAN (N26, Revolut). This happening in All jobs in Greece. Probably they don’t want to pay 1euro from transfer money abroad. I don’t get that. Everytime I ask from my emploey to pay my in EU IBAN they never want to do it. Reason?? “We cant do it”. We are EU residents with no rights. They discriminate EU IBANS. :rage:

Article 3(1) of Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 requires the payer’s bank to charge the same for a cross-border credit transfer in EUR as they charge for a domestic credit transfer in EUR. Therefore what is the employer’s motivation for not paying to a bank account in another EEA country?

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Maybe tax regulations or the fear that the tax office wants to investigate these transfers. @NFH

Domestic tax regulations or fear do not override EU regulations. Ultimately an employee could give the IBAN of a non-Greek EEA bank account to the employer, and in the event of non-payment of salary or wages, issue court proceedings against the employer for non-payment. Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 would make the claim indefensible.

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Sure, it’s not allowed but maybe the reason why they do it :wink:

Sorry, I didn’t answer this specific question, although the answer is contained within the definition I cited above. If you are not selling goods “for purposes relating to the trade, business, craft or profession of the trader”, then it would not apply. I believe, for example, that HM Revenue and Customs in the UK takes the same approach with regard to income tax, in that if you are not selling goods on eBay as your occupation, then it’s not taxable.

I agree with you @NFH but in Greece nothing works. So I don’t believe this would be change in the near future…

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Sorry for the dumb question, I didn’t follow the progress closely during the last year’s. Has the free flow of money out of the country been restored for Greece? Or are there still limits in place what is possible?

I would just give them an IBAN and inform my employer or provider of services (Rent et al) that it’s breaking the law to not accept any IBAN in the Eurozone.

Its pretty simple, if they say no I’ll report it and have them screwed for it, if they say yes then there’s no harm done.

What’s the point of having a financial service sector that spans all across the Eurozone and passporting rights if you can’t use it?

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The Capital control its still exist but outgoing transfer its possible up to 4000euro per month or 2 months. But the salary in Greece its 560euro/per month.

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If a merchant breaches this regulation, then you can report them to the enforcement body in the country where the merchant is based. Click on a country on the map at the bottom of the following page for contact details in each EU member state:

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