On Saturday 13th January 2018 it became illegal in the UK to charge a customer for processing their payment if made by credit or debit card. This means that businesses are not allowed by law to charge any more for a credit or debit card payment than they do for a cash payment.

The change is coming as part of a law setting out new payment regulations, and is based on an EU directive that which will apply throughout the EU.

What might happen though with businesses is price increases in one of 2 ways …..

  1. Companies might add a service charge for ALL transactions which will then mean you are paying an extra 50p or £1, whatever the service charge, no matter how you pay. This service charge would have to be paid on all sales charged by the business.
  2. Companies who take lots of card payments might choose to put prices up to cover the added costs for processing card payments meaning consumers pay more whatever they buy.

With these costs another impact might see smaller businesses choose to stop taking card payments all together. This is to be seen over time.


  1. Within the UK it being illegal to charge a processing fee is also extended to other methods such as Apple Pay and Paypal too.
  2. Companies can still set a minimum card payment fee.
  3. HMRC have also made the decision to stop taking Credit Card payments for people looking to settle their tax bill, however they will continue to accept debit cards, as well as direct debits and transfers.

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or are looking for competitive card payment solutions please contact www.smartcardpayments.co.uk here at Smart Communications on 01452 88-66-99 or email info@smartcardpayments.co.uk

Thank you.