UK government introduces card processing fee cap

A cap on card processing charges was introduced by the British government this weekend.

The law prevents retailers from charging customers more than the actual cost of processing a debit or credit card payment.

It comes after businesses in several sectors were accused of surprising customers with extensive payment processing fees at the end of a transaction. Airlines, rail companies, ticket providers and hotels were amongst the businesses commonly accused of such practices.

From now on, all businesses may have to prove that their debit and credit card processing fees match the actual cost of the transaction to them.

Richard Lloyd, who is the executive director of consumer magazine Which, was amongst those to have publicly lauded the introduction of the new law.

In an article for, he said: “We’re pleased the government is implementing this ban. For it to be effective, there must be a tough enforcement regime and companies must play fair and not pass costs on to customers in other ways. We will be monitoring the ban closely and want people to tell us about surcharges they think are excessive.”

According to, small businesses have been given extra time to prepare for these changes. The law won’t apply to them until June 2014.


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