UK government surcharging ban puts further strain on merchants

19th July 2017
Callum Godwin
Callum Godwin

This follows the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) legislation from the EU which, among other things, outlaws surcharging on debit and credit cards in member states, and comes into force on the 13th of January 2018.

EU rules only require a ban for surcharging on IFR-covered Visa and MasterCard cards, however the Treasury has decided to include other card and payment providers like American Express, Paypal, and Apple Pay within the scope of the regulation.

This regulation will place further strain on UK merchants, especially as cards traditionally more costly to accept, e.g. Amex, have been included. As surcharges are generally used to cover the cost of processing card payments, merchants will now, more than ever, need to look for cost savings by optimising their Merchant Service Charges (MSCs).

5 ways CMSPI has helped merchants tackle the changes 

  • Granular analysis of the true cost of the removal of surcharging for your business.
  • Optimisation of card acquiring arrangments, typically generating 6-7 figures cost reductions.
  • For merchants seeking to review pricing in anticipation of the surcharging ban, CMSPI has helped to accurately model card mix scenarios to formulate a new pricing strategy.
  • Providing an insight into what practices merchants in your industry are implementing to address the changes
  • Advice and guidance on surcharging for non-regulated card types post-January 2018.

In the coming days, CMSPI will be distributing a white paper to aid the merchants that are affected by the surcharging ban.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please email Wayne Ashall, Senior Consultant at

More questions about surcharging?