Belfast Telegraph

Charges for card payments to be banned from next year, Government reveals

"Rip-off" surcharges levied by companies on customers who pay with debit or credit cards are to end at the beginning of next year, the Government has announced.

The new rules will ban companies from charging up to 20% more for purchases such as flights just for paying with a credit card.

The surcharges are commonly levied by businesses ranging from takeaway apps to global airlines on customers who pay by card or use other services such as PayPal.

The rules will also tackle surcharging by local councils and government agencies such as the DVLA.

Businesses usually say the surcharge is to cover the cost of processing a card payment.

The total value of surcharges for debit and credit cards was an estimated £473 million, according to Treasury figures.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said: "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.

"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.

"These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them."

The Government has previously capped the costs that businesses face for processing card payments and said it will will engage with retailers to assess if there is any more that can be done to help.

MoneySavingExpert.com managing editor Guy Anker said: "Scrapping card surcharges is good news for the millions of consumers who would otherwise have been milked by companies who whack on unexpected charges at the end of the process - something that has been happening for years.

"With many feeling the squeeze in the cost of living, people shouldn't be hit with unexpected fees.

"While it will make it easier for consumers to compare prices we expect some companies will raise prices for all to compensate for the loss, which could hit those who currently pay in cash or by debit card."

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