20 Jul

Ban on card charges – commercial cards excluded

This week, the Government issued its response to the consultation on Payment Services Directive 2.

It must bring the Directive into UK law by 13 January 2018, including the ban on credit and debit card charges.

The Government was considering whether to extend the ban to some categories of card: it has decided to extend it to ‘three-party schemes’ like AmEx and Diners, but not to commercial cards.

For more information on this and the definition of a commercial card, please see our updated guidance note.

The Government announced yesterday that “rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end”. ABTA agrees that people should not be charged excessive fees when paying by card. However, preventing travel companies and other retailers from passing on the often excessively high charges they face when taking card payments, risks increasing prices for everyone, regardless of how they pay. We will be writing to the Government, highlighting the particular concerns of travel agents and providing examples of how these new rules will negatively impact the travel industry and their customers. We will be calling on the Government to address the real issue – the high level of fees charged to companies when taking card payments. The Government has previously committed to monitoring the amount charged by credit card companies for processing cards. They now need to back up their words with action.

If you have any queries please contact the Member and Partner Information line: membersinfo@abta.co.uk on 020 3117 0597.

You can view the Government’s response to consultation here.