Surcharges were costing UK Citizens about £166 Million a year, with customers being forced to pay up to 20% surcharge for using selected debit and credit cards.
The introduction of a surcharge ban means that retailers can no longer charge you for using a specific form of payment ie debit or credit card. The ban is however not applicable to business cards.
Previous examples of surcharge:
Flybe – 3%
Ryanair – 2%
Sky TV – 30p/mth
DVLA - £2.50 on all card transactions
Retailers – 50p/ transaction if under minimum spend
It is thought that many retailers will cover the costs by increasing overall item prices or by introducing service charges.
Just eat is a prime example of a company that is being criticised for working their way around the new ban. Before you were charged 50p if your choice of payment was debit or credit card. Now to comply with the new regulations. Just eat have applied the 50p surcharge across all forms of payments such as cash, card etc as a service charge.
This doesn’t mean that retailers/ pub can’t still set a minimum spend rule, but what it does mean is that they can’t charge you a set amount for not meeting the minimum spend when paying by card.
The new law is just one more step towards encouraging card / contactless use as we slowly move towards a cashless society.