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Portuguese supermarket group stops accepting credit cards

One of Portugal’s household supermarket names – Pingo Doce – is not accepting credit cards.

The move comes after the supermarket’s holding group company, Jerónimo Martins, moved its headquarters to Holland to avoid crushing taxes.

The measure, announced over the New Year, is because of the high costs of charges from Unicre, the company that processes credit card transactions.

The company argues that it would either have to absorb the costs or pass them on to its customers, which could put it at a disadvantage against competitors.

“Pingo Doce is extremely focused on identifying opportunities to improve efficiency which in turn can be passed on to customers in terms of competitive prices, particularly important in difficult times such as these,” said a company spokesperson.

The Algarve Resident visited the Pingo Doce supermarket in Lagoa on Tuesday this week and confirmed the measure was already in place with notices put up to inform customers that credit cards were not accepted.

Pingo Doce increased its sales in 2011 by 4.3%.