The British government has ruled that “excessive” credit and debit card surcharges will be banned by December 2012, BBC News reports. Author: Elizabeth Smythe
The British government has ruled that “excessive” credit and debit card surcharges will be banned by December 2012, BBC News reports.
The news, which consumer groups have long been opposing, could result in a surge in the use of online credit card processing. People who previously refused to make internet purchases might now be happier to do so, knowing they won’t have to pay the charges.
Most commonly, these surcharges were applied to buying flights and cinema tickets, often adding several pounds to each purchase at the end of the transaction. In some cases, customers were being charged £12 for transactions that cost just 20 pence.
The government’s involvement followed a complaint by watchdog, Which? made to the Office of Fair Trading. Over 50,000 people supported the ensuing campaign.
A particular gripe was in instances where charges were levied per item, not per transaction.
The call was made to ensure transparency and to appease consumers who were, Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, told The Telegraph: “sick of being ripped off.”
“[Consumers] have the right to understand the charges they may incur up front and not be hit through a hidden, last-minute payment surcharge,” he said.
Legislation pertaining to the abolition of unnecessary surcharges will be introduced by the end of next year.