Card surcharge ban gives consumers upper hand in deciding how to pay

In light of the news that from January next year, consumers will no longer be charged extra for paying by debit or credit cards, Lu Zurawski, Head of Consumer Payments EMEA, ACI Worldwide  has commented on why a ban on payment surcharging will give consumers the upper hand.

“The rules unveiled by The Treasury today are a welcome step designed to bring more transparency into the payments process and above all puts the consumer at the heart of it.

“This is not just a ‘cards versus cash’ debate – the announced legislation which includes a ban on payment surcharging is far more profound in terms of its impact on UK Banking.

“The rationale on surcharging aims to make it easier for consumers to compare prices of actual goods, without then needing to re-evaluate their choices when presented with extra charges later.

“The legislation makes it easier for consumers to pay online without being dependent on plastic cards. For example, new inexpensive types of payments – like transfers from accounts initiated on mobile phones – are encouraged.

“On balance, it is a sensible outcome. As well as eliminating the much-reviled surcharges, it provides more choice to consumers in how they make payments. Citizens who prefer to pay by electronic payment means are no longer disadvantaged. Meanwhile, if a retailer accepts cash, citizens are free to pay by notes and coin. Consumers gain the upper hand in deciding how payments are to be made.”