Dubai: GEMS schools will no longer accept credit cards and debit cards as a method of paying fees as of July 1.

However, GEMS said for those who want to continue to use credit and debit cards, “a separate payment facility will be provided which will ... incur a bank administrative fee.”

Parents who carry a GEMS-NBAD credit card, however, have the sole option of paying the fees using these credit cards.

GEMS said they will stop accepting credit cards and debit cards as a method of payment because the two per cent charge for the transaction costs the company millions annually.

Parents who still want to continue paying using credit and debit cards can do so but they will have to cover the bank transaction fee themselves.

“Every year, millions of dirhams in tuition fees go towards paying credit card transaction fees charged by banks; we believe those sums are better used in educating our students. Parents have several means of paying that incur no fee at all, and we encourage them to choose the method that is best for them,” said a GEMS spokesperson.

Other than using the GEMS-NBAD card, parents can pay by cash, cheque, and wire transfer.

The spokesperson said the GEMS-NBAD credit card is free and does not require any transaction fees on tuition payments. He also said GEMS will receive no material benefit from use of the GEMS-NBAD credit card.

“For those parents who want to pay with other cards, we are setting up an option to pay that is outside of our normal system. But payers must understand that this service will incur the bank transaction fees, which are outside our control,” said the spokesperson.

A circular was issued to all parents by GEMS schools about the change in payment methods.

Some parents said paying using credit cards is convenient and having to pay a bank transaction charge on top of the tuition fees is a burden.

Fernandes F, a father of two children who go to a GEMS school, said paying online using a credit card is the most convenient method. “My children’s school is really far, I don’t have time to go there and my children are too young to carry cash. If I pay using cheques I will need 40 cheques a year for both my children, which is not convenient.”

Fernandes said having to pay for a bank transaction in addition to the tuition fees, extra curricular activity fees and other fees is a burden for his family.

Another parent, Ahmad Ahmad, who has three children who attend a GEMS school, said extra charges can all add up and become a burden.

“We live in an age where fees are really high so parents should have the option of paying using credit cards. I think GEMS is trying to promote their GEMS-NBAD credit card. I have three children so paying a bank transaction fee for all three will add up to a reasonable sum.”