Let’s Get One Thing Straight #1 – Card Fees

Can I Add a Fee For Taking Payments By Debit or Credit Cards?

In this, the first of Travlaw’s “Let’s Get One Thing Straight” series, which tackles frequently asked questions with a determinative answer, Faraan Babar tackles what is still a very frequently asked point – can travel businesses apply a fee when taking payments by Debit or Credit Cards?

According to the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 (amended by the Payment Services Regulations 2017), a payee must not charge a payer any fees in respect of payment by means of a payment instrument which is a card-based payment instrument.

A card-based payment is described in “Article 2(20) of Regulation (EU) 2015/751 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions” as any payment instrument (including a card, mobile phone, computer, any other technological device) which enables a payer to initiate a card-based payment which is not a credit transfer or a direct debit. As a result, a fee being imposed for taking Debit or Credit card payments will not be permissible. (NB – this is still relevant following “Brexit”).

If you are found to have charged fees to individuals after taking their Debit or Credit Card payments then Trading Standards will have the power to take civil enforcement action which may result in fines being imposed. It is something that Trading Standards Units are actively looking out for, and also an aspect of trading that consumers are now much more aware of.

If you have any further queries and require more information in relation to this matter please feel free to reach out to Faraan@Travlaw.co.uk or call 01132 580033.

This article was originally published on: 12 December 2022

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