As we enter 2018 it is worth remembering that from 13 January 2018 onwards consumers are no longer subject to surcharges when using their debit or credit cards to buy goods or services.
These are being abolished following the implementation of the revised EU Payment Service Directive II, which will remain applicable post-Brexit as it is to be transposed into UK law.
However, while this might appear to be a victory for consumers, it's not all good news. Consumers may still end up bearing the cost of debit and credit card transactions, because:
businesses might choose to increase their selling prices, or add arbitrary service charges to all transactions, in order to pass on the costs to their customers
businesses might increase the minimum amount that consumers need to spend when using a credit or debit card
businesses might refuse to accept payments using a credit card altogether.
Businesses choosing to pass on the costs to their customers – ie by increasing their selling prices – will need to carefully consider such increases as if the majority of their customer base pays in cash this might negatively impact their sales figures and might even cause reputational damage.