India-facing ticketing platform BookMyShow and movie theatre chain PVR are among a number of companies that will face a fresh challenge about their use of internet handling fees, according to the News Minute website.

The Hyderabad-based ‘Forum Against Corruption’ organisation claims that the fees violate the Reserve Bank of India’s Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) regulations.

The MDR is a payment gateway fee, which is paid by the merchant to the bank for accepting payments via debit or credit cards.

“When we go to shopping malls, these payment gateway charges are not included in our bills. If a product costs Rs100, you pay Rs100,” the Forum’s president, Vijay Gopal, said.

“But here, PVR and other movie theatres don’t want to give up a cut from their revenue to the banks and so portals like BookMyShow give the theatres an option to either bear the payment gateway charges or pass it on to the customer.”

Gopal added that it was an “absurd argument” made by the companies that customers can be charged handling fees because of “other services” being offered.

The Forum has called on authorities to take action, although at this stage it is unclear when a hearing will take place and what measures the companies may face.

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