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Usually, you’ll notice this fee as a 2% to 3% surcharge on your bill when you go to enter your card details.Since April 2012, the government has outlawed retailers from charging fees that are ‘excessive’.This will apply to transactions on any credit or debit card, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express.The government is introducing this ban thanks to a new EU law, the Payment Services Directive II. has been urging the government to address excessive card fees since March 2011, when it submitted a super-complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).It then began to look into what could be done to stop unfair debit and credit card surcharges.As a result, in December 2011, the government agreed to take action and confirmed it would ban excessive surcharges. But these rules meant that surcharges weren’t banned, but must reflect the cost incurred to the firm for processing the payment.We estimated that it would be no more than 50p per transaction for debit card payments or 2% of the total transaction price for credit card payments.While it’s difficult to gather a full picture of how much card surcharges cost each and every business, it makes the justification to add charges of up to £10 for bigger transactions, such as for travel bookings, somewhat questionable.
‘Previous action to protect consumers from excessive card surcharges has been difficult to enforce, leaving consumers paying over the odds just for paying by card.The OFT’s subsequent investigation found card surcharges were often far higher than the cost to companies to process the card transactions – and the complaint by Which? In April 2012, the government implemented a ban on ‘excessive fees’, meaning retailers had to keep cards fees at a ‘reasonable’ level and below the cost to their business. at the time estimated that a debit card payment would cost no more than 50p to process while a credit card payment would cost no more than 2% of the sale – yet while most companies scrapped debit card fees, many kept their credit card fees at up to 3%.Find out more: Time to say goodbye to rip off surcharges Which?The days of paying a hefty fee simply for paying by credit or debit card will soon be over, as the government has announced plans to ban card surcharges in the UK.The new ban – which will take effect from 13 January 2018 – will mean retailers and traders are no longer allowed to charge you for using your credit or debit card when making a purchase.