It’s the end for credit and debit card charges in the UK.

From 13th January 2018, businesses in the UK will no longer be able to apply surcharges to credit or debit card payments of goods or service. Currently, a trader can apply a fee when accepting payments by credit or debit card to cover the cost to the business associated with taking card payments. Under the new rules, surcharging will no longer be legal and will be banned on all transactions.

What will the impact be on small businesses?  

For many small businesses the additional costs associated with processing credit and debit card payments, makes offering the service too expensive and detrimental to their bottom line. A solution around this has traditionally been to pass that cost onto the customer in form of a surcharge, to enable them to offer the card payment facility but with some protection against the cost.

So, what are your options as a small business if you are now worried about taking the hit when accepting card payments from the 13th January?

1. Business owners are still within their rights to refuse card payments if this makes more financial sense for them.

2. Alternatively, (and this is probably the best option to avoid losing trade) you can still apply a minimum spend on all card transactions.

3. For convenience retailers it may make sense to offer a credit card machine facility, or information on where to find the closest one to encourage sales despite having no card payment option available.

4. Take some time to learn about all the credit card processing option available to your business, to find out whether there is an affordable and transparent solution that will allow you to offer a flexible card payment service to your customers.

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