The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) encompasses various regulations for online payments and financial services across Europe. This article focuses on one specific consequence of PSD2 - the ban on surcharges for payments made by card.

This article covers:

The surcharge ban

The surcharge ban from PSD2 came into effect on January 13th 2018, covering all EEA businesses. It makes it illegal to charge additional fees for debit or credit card payments. Each country is responsible for its implementation and scope of the requirements. The Treasury has also extended the ban to include payments made via PayPal in the UK. Still, generally speaking, it covers payment via all major card companies (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, etc.)

What should I do?

If you're a business within the EEA and you're using Bookwhen to charge additional fees for payments made via your payment gateway, you need to ensure that either:

  1. You turn this off and stop charging fees to comply with the law. However, there are two possible 'workarounds' below.

  2. Suppose you don't accept any other forms of non-card payment (i.e. cash, cheque, bank transfer etc.). In that case, you can continue to charge the fees, as technically, you're not discriminating against customers paying by card as all customers are paying the same fee

  3. Likewise, you're still within the law if you add a fee to non-card payments you accept, as it means you're not discriminating against card payers - everyone gets the same fee on a transaction regardless of payment method. That would suggest adding a fee to cash payments, for example. Unfortunately, Bookwhen doesn't currently support the ability to add fees to non-card payments, but we are considering this as future development. Some large businesses have famously tried this approach, too much frustration from their customers, so please consider how this strategy could affect your reputation first!

 To switch off your payment fees on Bookwhen:

  1. Navigate to your Payment Settings

  2. Select Edit next to your gateway

  3. Select Edit and untick the box for Add an online payment fee to bookings?

Can I increase my ticket prices to compensate?

Yes, if you wish, but you'll never be able to cover the fee because of the way payment gateways accurately charge you (flat fee + % per transaction). On average, it's a balancing act between covering your costs and not overcharging customers. Please see our handy spreadsheet here, which will help you calculate your new ticket price in the fairest way possible.

Further reading

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