Government bans ‘rip-off’ card fees
From January 2018, businesses across the UK will not be allowed to charge consumers any fees for credit or debit card payments, announced the government on Wednesday.
Britons can be currently charged up to 20% extra for purchases made with a credit card or via PayPal. ‘Surcharging’ is common practice across the country with takeaway apps and global airlines named as worst offenders. Small retailers also tend to add a small charge for card payments to cover expensive merchant fees.
This practice costed British consumers an estimated £473 million in 2010, according to the Treasury.
“Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end,” said The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay.
“This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the check-out just for using a card.”
Barclay said the new rule will mean “shoppers across the country will have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them,” however commentators have said the measure is more likely to have an adverse impact for consumers as retailers are expected to increase their prices to make up for the shortfall.
The measure affects surcharges on Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal payments.
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