UK government to ban ‘scam’ card surcharges
The UK government will ban card surcharges applied by retailers and e-commerce operators that penalize customers who choose to pay by debit and credit card.
The government has unveiled new rules that will mean card billing in Britain – where people can be charged an additional 20% for purchases like stealing just to pay with a credit card – will end in January.
The crackdown comes as a number of industry sectors continue to flout an EU rule change in December 2015 that capped ‘interchange fees’ on credit and debit cards at no more than 0, 3 percent and 0.2 percent upon receipt.
While many industries have acted to absorb the costs and not pass them on to consumers, others, such as convenience stores, insurance companies and airlines, continue to penalize consumers who choose to flash plastic.
In 2010, the total value of surcharges for debit and credit cards was estimated at £ 473million.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Barclay said: “Scam fees have no place in modern Britain and that is why card billing in Britain is about to end . It’s about fairness and transparency, so from next year onwards there won’t be any nasty surprises for people at the cash desk just for using a card. “
This decision was welcomed by consumer groups. James Daley, director of the Fairer Finance campaign group, said: “The Treasury went further than necessary to include Paypal American Express, as EU rules only required a ban on Visa and Mastercard. Finally, consumers have the confidence to spend money on a card without worrying about getting stuck on fees. ”