Almost a year on, the UK and pan-European Surcharge Ban is still affecting British Retailers. The ban prevents card charges for payments through credit or debit cards
The aim of the regulation was to increase competition in the payments industry, enhance customer protection and introduce common standards
How Retailers tackled the Surcharge Ban
- 56% Introduce Minimum Card Spend
- 11% Continued Surcharge
- 22% Remove All Charges
- 11% Never Charged
Now that businesses can’t pass card processing fees onto their customers they have found other ways to cover the cost, some absorbing it as a cost of doing business. We asked retailers how they were tackling the surcharge ban. The most popular response was that retailers added a minimum card spend, with 56% of retailers opting for this.
How has introducing a Minimum Card Spend impacted your business?
- "It has reduced the amount people spend in-store per transaction."
- "Customers make up their spend to the minimum. Some cannot be bothered and walk out. We can offer customers the chance to withdraw cash from the Post Office for their goods and extra cash."
- "We’ve always had a minimum spend of £5. So, made no difference."
- "With small purchases, it would cost us more in transaction charges. Instead of making a profit we would be losing money so by having a minimum spend we will make a profit on the sale."
- "Some people will continue to buy to reach the minimum. However, quite a few walk away disgruntled."
- "We have lost a fair few customers as they don’t want to spend the minimum spend and would rather have paid the extra card charge."
Some retailers are still charging customers, although this is now a breach of EU law.
To overcome this, other retailers have absorbed the costs and have removed the charge. Taking the cost away from the customer and tackling it themselves.
How has removing the charge impacted your business?
- "It lowered my profits and also increased my bills for card transactions as more are carried out. The card companies profits go up while ours go down. It’s a terrible impact on small businesses."
- "People are spending more on cards and bigger footfall."
- "Customers are more inclined to pay by card rather than cash."
- "Cost us around £20 per month, but we changed to a different payments service at the same time, and they were less expensive than the system we had before."
- "Its cost approx £1000 pa."
Some retailers who contacted us have never charged for card payments and have continued with this approach. This does not limit the basket size of their customers, allowing them to pay by card regardless of the amount they are buying and the cost of their shop.