A quick guide to credit card surcharges around the world

October 10, 2017

The changes to the laws surrounding card surcharges aren’t just hitting businesses hard at home, but further abroad beyond the European Union, too. Is there anything that can be done for businesses looking to grow who are going to be hit hardest by the new legislation?

The travel industry, for instance – especially independent agencies on the high street – are set to be some of the hardest hit by the changes to credit card surcharges.

Trade magazine TTG recently held a Facebook Live event for followers though on the issue of card surcharges and what agencies can do to bridge the financial gaps, namely sourcing better deals, introducing new services, better transparency and other solutions.

There are indeed ways for businesses to recoup their losses from changes to credit card surcharges. For those looking to expand abroad though, it’s essential to know the landscape in regard card charges before you begin reaching out to new markets.

Credit card surcharges around the world

While changes to card surcharges don’t take effect across the EU until January 2018, giving businesses both large and small time to implement necessary changes to their financial models, the landscape looks a lot different across other international territories.

We recently wrote, for instance, about changes to card surcharges in Australia. While EU territories have something of a grace period when it comes to surcharges, Australians were hit with a total ban in September at relative short notice, hitting a lot of smaller businesses especially hard.

So, is this a global rollout? Are surcharges set to become extinct? Not entirely; again, it depends on the territory. While the EU and Australia have put their feet down, the landscape is quite the opposite in North America.

Not all states are created equal when it comes to card surcharges. 10 states, representing approximately 40% of the United States population (including New York, Texas, Florida and California) have banned surcharges while 40 states allow them.

However, merchants are allowed to charge different amounts to customers depending on the payment methods used. The courts are also seeing some activity with merchants in New York arguing against parts of the surcharge ban, could America become The Land of the Free (to charge whatever they want)?

Boost your growth ambitions by knowing the regulatory landscape

For business owners and senior managers tasked with growing a business into new, international markets, it’s absolutely essential to know the lay of the land, not just in regard surcharges but other financial regulations that may impact the business.

Issues of compliance, though, can involve filling out an incredible amount of documentation and working to get certain areas of the operation up to standard. It can take an enormous amount of time; partnering with a knowledgeable and experienced payment services provider that cares as much about your growth as you do could be the answer.

The right payment service provider will partner with you to educate you and work with you to become internationally compliant, streamlining your internal and external financial systems to modernise and attract new markets, allowing you to focus on growing your business and building relationships with the people that matter most to your growth.

A culture of chargebacks and ‘friendly fraud’ is hitting businesses of all shapes and sizes. How can companies adapt to an evolving consumer chargeback philosophy, protect their profits and keep markets happy at the same time? Read ‘What is friendly fraud and how do chargebacks work?’ to learn more.