New rules to address the soaring cost of card payment fees

Card payments rocketed during the pandemic and that trend has continued since then.

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), card payments account for four out of every five payments made.

But as consumers switch, the soaring cost of accepting card payments is hitting retailers and adding to the cost of doing business.

According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), in October last year both Visa and Mastercard raised their cross-border interchange fees on purchases made by UK consumers to European businesses from 0.2 per cent to 1.15 per cent for debit cards, and 0.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent for credit card transactions.

Move to improve services

Meanwhile, transaction fees on digital wallets are also on the up as PayPal increased its fees for payments between businesses in the UK and Europe from 0.5 per cent to 1.29 per cent in November 2021.

Following a review by the Payments System Regulator (PSR), the Government watchdog announced new rules in October to improve card services and help businesses shop around and switch to more cost-effective services.

From January next year, 14 of the most significant providers of card-acquiring services will be required to remind businesses at the end of their contract term that they could compare prices to get a better deal.

In addition:

  • Providers will also have to provide information to businesses about their charges and provide an initial online quotation tool of key charges to help businesses make a choice.
  • Following concerns that businesses were being locked into lengthy contracts for card readers, the regulator is also limiting point-of-sale (POS) terminal contracts to 18 months.

Link: Mitigating card payment costs