Here’s how 3 industries plan to tackle debit and credit card surcharges

October 17, 2017

Business across the European Union (including British businesses despite Brexit) have until January 2018 to decide how to deal with changing laws and regulations surrounding card surcharges.

Businesses will no longer be able to add a fee to counteract credit and debit card surcharges from early next year. Though it has been hailed as a huge victory for consumers, it’s a change that leaves a lot of businesses in the lurch, especially businesses looking to expand, grow and enter new markets.

Suddenly, they’ll have to deal with the bank levy that comes with card surcharges. With those institutions not set to change any time soon, it’s up to businesses to try and fill in that hole themselves without it impacting their budgets and their overall growth strategy.

The good news is that working with an experienced and personable payment service provider can go a long way to streamlining your finances and providing creative solutions to counteract the changes to credit and debit card surcharges.

The right partner will also go a long way to helping your business not only become more creative when it comes to card surcharges, but also take the weight of international compliance and administration from your shoulders, giving you more time to focus on growing your business, working alongside a team able to educate and advise on an ever-changing financial landscape.

So, how can you negate the issues of credit and debit card surcharges without falling foul of financial regulators? Recent examples include:

1: A more transparent travel industry

The travel industry, from flight operators to travel franchises to independent agents, are set to be amongst the hardest hit by the changes to card surcharges, both at home and abroad. Recently, industry trade title TTG gave some advice to those operating in the sector.

One solution they highlighted is that agents could introduce a booking fee, either flat-rate or as a percentage of the overall holiday. The best piece of advice they offered though was, if introducing such a fee, to be as transparent as possible with customers about the reasons it’s been introduced to keep relationships with existing and potential clients strong.

2: Cafes providing more creative ways to pay

Cafes and restaurants are also set to be hit hard by the changes to card surcharges, especially smaller more independent businesses. Keep in mind a recent story about sandwich chain Subway though, and the actions of one of its franchisees.

A Subway in Bristol recently added 10p onto card transactions that were chip and PIN, not contactless, leaving some customers annoyed. By being more creative in the ways you allow customers to pay and introducing new digital technology to help complete consumers complete purchases in easier ways, you can also build stronger relationships with more targeted customers who have adopted modern payment methods, helping to increase footfall.

3: Cabs accepting contactless payments

Similarly, travellers in London would have to pay a surcharge for car payments on their journeys in a black cab, sometimes at prices of up to 10%.

With that practice now banned though, cabs have introduced more creative ways to pay through contactless terminals and apps to make the journey easier than ever for travellers; something which some have considered a great PR move, too, in light of Uber recently having its licence revoked in the capital.

Changing the way you accept customer payments can be one of the best ways to handle the changing legislation surrounding surcharges. Find out more by speaking to the Fibonatix team today.

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.