The first Dankort was issued by Pengeinstitutternes Købe- og Kreditkort in September 1983. In 2001 Dankort A/S was founded, and it took over the rights to the Dankort in January 2001.
In 2004 the Dankort technology was upgraded from being simply a magnetic strip card, to a hybrid card with both the magnetic strip and an embedded chip. This was to improve security by making it harder to clone a card and also to add more room for extra information on the card. However the card holders picture was removed from the card to make room for the chip (which was already crowded with a lot of information, along with logos of Dankort, Visa, and so on), making the merchant no longer able to do a photo identification of the card holder.
In the beginning of 2005 the Danish banks introduced a 50 øre per transaction fee for using a Dankort card. The instatement of this fee was questioned by Danish politicians (right in the middle of a general election campaign), merchants, and card holders. The law was subsequently changed, converting the per transaction fee to a fixed annual payment to be paid by the merchant, the amount depending on the number of transactions ( 4,999 or less; 5,000–19,999; 20,000+). Further thresholds were later introduced into the system, allowing greater differentiation between merchants. Danish law was changed effective July 2005, converting the payment per transaction paid by the merchants, to a fixed annual amount depending on the number of transactions. Merchants are not allowed to pass this fee on to the consumer wishing to pay with a Dankort.
Danish law distinguishes between varying types of debit cards and credit cards. The maximum rates charged are as follows:
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|Type of card||Fee paid by the store||The maximum fee a consumer|
may be charged by a physical merchant
|Danish brand debit cards without a chip
|No fee||No fee|
|Dankort or Dankort-Visa||Annual fee||No fee|
|Danish brand credit cards with a chip||Annual fee||No fee|
|Danish issued foreign brand debit cards
(e.g. Maestro or Visa Electron)
|0.3% (max. 4 DKK)||No fee|
|Danish issued foreign brand credit cards
(e.g. Eurocard or MasterCard)
|Foreign issued debit/credit cards
||3.75%||No more than the amount|
charged to the merchant
Due to the higher fees charged by banks for the use of non-Danish issued cards (that consist of foreign card network interchange fees plus Danish banks own fees), many Danish merchants only accept Dankort and Danish-issued credit cards, but not foreign cards. Some merchants might not even accept cards with foreign brands (such as Visa, MasterCard, and so on) since these cards were identified as foreign cards by the merchants, even if they are Danish-issued.
Co-branded Dankort-Visa cards are very common in Denmark and do not carry the bigger fee, as Danish merchants treat them as regular Dankort cards within Denmark. Danish holders of Dankort-Visa are normally able to use these cards globally, wherever Visa is accepted and the fee for accepting a foreign Visa card isn't too high that a merchant will deny the use of a foreign Visa card.
- Konkurrencestyrelsen (in Danish)
- All current Dankort-Visa cards use chips. The no longer issued original version without the chip can still be use and carried no fees for both merchants and card holders.
- Dankort (in Danish)