Payment surcharges: what you need to know

Thursday, 18th January 2018

Updates to the Consumer Rights directive on payment surcharges may affect your business

For all businesses who take payments via methods linked to credit and debit cards, there is a new regulatory change – which took effect on 13 January 2018 – that everyone needs to be aware of.

  • Until 12 January, it was possible to charge customers a surcharge to cover any fees for the use of a payment instrument linked to credit or debit cards. The law restricted businesses from charging more than the cost to the trader of using a payment vehicle, but this has now changed.
  • An EU Directive issued in 2015, which requires member states to ban surcharges on consumer credit and debit cards entirely, has now come into effect.
  • The UK Government has decided to go further in protecting consumers by including other payment instruments, such as PayPal, within the prohibition.
  • Commercial transactions are not covered by the ban, but are now subject to the prohibition on charging fees that exceed the cost of accepting the payment method.

If your business is affected by the above change, and you need advice or assistance to amend your payment methods, please contact the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

For updates and changes to the way your e-commerce system works, please contact Realnet for advice and support.