Card payment fee ban coming into force

Ensure you’re not adding a card payment surcharge.

Current rules stipulate that companies should only charge customers what it costs them to process a debit or credit card. They shouldn’t make a profit from these surcharges.

New rules, that came into effect on the 13th January 2018, will mean customers cannot be penalised for choosing to pay by card, either online or in-store. Companies will be banned from charging any fees for credit or debit card payments.

If you have an online payment facility or a card payment machine then is likely that an external provider manages the payment process – they should be fully aware of this new regulation.

However, if you process any card payments please be aware that you can no longer add a payment surcharge to card paying customers. The ban also includes other linked ways of paying such as PayPal or Apple Pay.

What are your options?

Whilst your company will still be getting charged for taking payment through these channels the ruling is to ensure customers are not penalised for paying by card. The regulation bans explicitly adding such a charge on to the customer.

So, it is a case of either not passing anything on or attempting to increase the general price level accordingly so that the charges incurred are covered in that.

If your company has been adding a surcharge then it would be advisable to estimate the monthly/annual fees or charges that you have to pay and the amount that you have previously been able to pass on so that you are aware of the financial costs of this. This information may help you make the decision as to whether you need to increase prices accordingly or reassure you that you can take the hit on it.