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Government to ban 'rip-off' credit card surcharges from next year

Government to ban 'rip-off' credit card surcharges from next year
2 min read

Credit card surcharges are to be banned outright from January 2018, the Government has confirmed.

Charging customers extra to pay with a credit card is often used to offset the cost imposed on businesses by their banks.

While many firms take the hit voluntarily, others - including some takeaway restaurants and major airlines - can hike up to an extra 20% charge on to their goods and services.

The new rules will also extend to local councils and government agencies such as the DVLA.

A 2012 ban was imposed on traders charging more than the cost of processing a payment in the UK, while the EU imposed a 0.3% limit on “interchange fees” between banks and businesses in 2015, with the intention of making it easier for traders to bear the cost without hitting consumers.

Treasury figures showed the total value of surcharges for debit & credit cards in 2010 stood at an estimated £473m.

Stephen Barclay, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said the “rip-off charges” imposed on customers had “no place in modern Britain”.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

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