Consumers to benefit from ban on credit and debit card surcharges

Consumers are set to benefit from a ban on credit and debit card surcharges, which took effect from 13 January.

12 Jan 2018

Consumers are set to potentially benefit from a ban on credit and debit card surcharges, which will take effect from 13 January.

From this date, UK businesses will no longer be permitted to charge consumers extra for paying by credit or debit card for goods or services online, or in a small shop.

In July 2017, the Treasury announced that the ban was set to be introduced. It stated that ‘rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain’, and that the ban will help to promote ‘fairness and transparency’.

The change could, however, lead to a rise in prices for customers, as businesses may seek to recoup the revenue lost as a result of the introduction of the ban.

Experts have also questioned how the ban will be policed, with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) warning that it will be difficult to enforce.  

Commenting on the ban, Gareth Shaw, Money Expert at consumer group Which?, said: ‘This ban should finally stop consumers being penalised simply for using their card. However, people will be wary if it results in price increases, minimum spend limits or even cards being refused by retailers.

‘The government and the regulator need to closely monitor the effectiveness of the ban – and the fees banks charge retailers for card payments – to ensure that it has the positive impact for consumers originally intended.’

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