Charging credit card fees

Charging credit card fees

The rules on charging consumers a surcharge based on their method of payment changed from 13 January 2018 due to new EU guidelines.

The surcharge ban is not universal; it only bans surcharges imposed on consumers for the use of a particular payment method. This means that a booking fee or administrative fee, which is payable by all customers unrelated to the means of payment, is unaffected. In response some businesses, for example JustEat, have taken steps to extend extra fees to all customers, regardless of their payment method.

Also in response to this ban HMRC has stopped accepting personal credit card payments. They stated: "As a public funded body, HMRC is unable to absorb the cost of personal credit card fees as this would ultimately mean charging the fees back to customers through the public purse. It has been agreed that HMRC is unable to accept personal credit card payments from 13 January 2018."

Mike Cherry of the FSB called this move “hypocritical,” most likely on the basis that small businesses have to struggle to absorb the costs. He said:  “Small businesses don’t want to pass on card fees to their customers, so it’s high time for policymakers and businesses to work together to bring down the charges levied by card providers."

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As always, if you have a legal query please get in touch with the FSB Legal Helpline on 0345 0727727 and we'll be happy to assist you.