Federation of Small Businesses (FSB): Credit Card Fee Ban is a “Double-Edged Sword” For Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said that an EU-wide ban on preventing credit card fees from being passed on to customers gives a “double-edged sword” for small businesses. It also called on businesses and policymakers to work together to reduce the charges.

From today, companies in the United Kingdom can no longer pass on the fees to customers. Instead, the businesses will have to take on the said costs themselves.

Mike Cherry, the FSB chairman, stated: “The proportion of small firms reporting a rise in operating costs is now at a five-year high. Removing their freedom to share the burden of card payment fees will give them yet another outgoing to worry about.

He continued: “The interchange fees demanded by card companies are only the start of the costs that small firms incur when they process a card payment. They also have to foot the bill for compliance, set-up, authorisation fees and payment system operating costs.”

In December, HMRC itself said that it would stop accepting payments using personal credit cards as a result of the said ban. The HRMC said:  “As a public funded body, HMRC is unable to absorb the cost of personal credit card fees as this would ultimately mean charging the fees back to customers through the public purse. It has been agreed that HMRC is unable to accept personal credit card payments from 13 January 2018.”