If you have had to use your cards for payments around the purchase or rental of a property you will be glad to know that from 13 January, in line with the European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) companies have been banned from charging fees for credit or debit card payments.
Consumers in the past have sometimes faced hefty charges, with fees typically around two per cent even though the laws which came into force in 2013, meant companies should only charge what it costs them to process a debit or credit card payment.
The updated regulation refers to all non-commercial cards so the ban applies to both Visa and MasterCard (among others), but omits corporate cards issued to employees for business expenditures, such as office equipment, supplies or services.
The ban also extends to payment services to allow customers to make cashless euro payments to anyone located in one of the 28 member states of the European Union or the four member states of the European Free Trade Association.
If any fees have been charged in contravention of the regulations, the consumer is under no obligation to pay, and if the fee has already been paid for some reason the cost is fully refundable.
In a disputed case where the surcharge has not been recovered and a resolution is unable to be reached, consumers have the option to directly enforce their right of redress in civil proceeding before the courts. Consumers can also refer the matter to Trading Standards, or the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investments in Northern Ireland.