‘Ban on credit and debit card surcharges excellent news’ – Consumer Council

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Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

The Consumer Council has welcomed the announcement from HM Treasury regarding the banning of credit and debit card surcharges for all Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal payments from January 2018.

“Surcharges are the costs consumers pay to make payments by credit or debit card,” said Philippa McKeown-Brown, Head of Consumer Empowerment and Protection at The Consumer Council.

“Currently, some companies like airlines, ticket websites and fast-food websites are charging fees of between 2.5% to 5%. Today’s announcement will bring an end to this practice by making transactions more transparent.

“This ruling will ensure the cost consumers are asked to pay is clear and upfront, allowing them to shop around and compare fairly on price, rather than finding an additional cost being added on at the end of the transaction,” she continued.

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“In addition, paying by credit card or debit card provides consumers with extra protection under consumer law. Paying by credit cards, even if it’s only a small proportion on items costing between £100- £30,000  gives consumers additional protection if things go wrong, such as the goods are faulty, fail to arrive or are not as described.

“In these instances, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, consumers can claim their money back from the credit card provider. With debit or credit card payments under £100, consumers are also protected through the Chargeback process.

Philippa added, “The Consumer Council’s guide ‘Safer Ways to Pay’ which is available on our website, or via 0800 121 6022, provides consumers with further advice.”

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