Hamburger icon

Menu

  • Business insurance

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Manage your policy
Telephone iconCall Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Chevron left icon
Knowledge centre

Debit and credit card surcharges to be banned by 2018: what it means for UK small business owners

2-minute read

Debit and credit card surcharges to be banned by 2018: what it means for UK small business owners
Josh Hall

Josh Hall

19 July 2017

Facebook iconTwitter iconLinkedIn icon

Small businesses will be banned from charging any fees for card payments from next year.

The move comes as the UK begins to implement an EU directive aimed at increasing transparency and fairness around consumer payments.

  • Financial crisis predictions for 2017-2018: new credit crunch coming?
  • Best business bank accounts compared
  • Best business credit cards UK: a comparison guide for small businesses
  • What does business insurance cover?

Currently, merchants often charge customers a fee for payments made typically by credit card. The government does the same, with charges being made by HMRC and the DVLA when individuals settle tax bills or renew their car tax.

But these fees will be banned from 13 January 2018, in a move that the government suggests could save consumers around £473 million a year.

HMRC has banned credit card payments altogether from January 2018.

Announcing the new regulations, economic secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said: “Rip-off charges have no place in modern Britain, and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end. This is about fairness and transparency.”

Loss to small businesses?

However, the new rules seemingly don’t take into account the large charges made on merchants by card providers. American Express and PayPal levy unusually high fees, and it appears that merchants will now be expected to absorb these, potentially resulting in higher prices for consumers.

Speaking to the Guardian, MoneySavingExpert managing editor Guy Anker said: “We expect some companies will raise prices for all to compensate for the loss, which could hit those who currently pay in cash.”

Rise of ‘Open Banking’

The new regulations are part of a wide-ranging change to some of the fundamental principles of banking across Europe.

The raft of measures, known as Open Banking, are intended to increase transparency for consumers, and to end the monopoly on user data currently held by the major banks.

This week a series of grants were made to financial services startups to help them develop solutions that make the most of the technology introduced by Open Banking, which will enable service providers to access data previously held only by consumers’ banks, provided that they have the account holder’s permission.

The implications of this technology could be wide-ranging, including better pre-approval for consumer and SME credit. It is also thought that it will make life easier for those who are looking to switch service providers, by tracking spend on things like energy bills and subscriptions and allowing financial service firms to suggest cheaper alternatives.

Would you be happy sharing more financial information under Open Banking? Let us know in the comments.

Is your business insured?

We have 600,000 UK policies plus a 9/10 satisfaction score. Why not take a look at our expert business insurance options - including public liability insurance and professional indemnity - and run a quick quote to get started?

Start your quote

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Facebook icon
Share
Twitter icon
Tweet
LinkedIn icon
Post

People also liked

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Facebook icon

Follow us on Facebook

Twitter icon

Follow us on Twitter

YouTube icon

Subscribe to our videos on YouTube

LinkedIn icon

Follow us on LinkedIn

Address

6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.