From Saturday, the 13th of January 2018, it will no longer be possible for consumers to be charged a fee for deciding to pay a bill by credit card or debit card.
The new rules are aimed at stamping our current practices, where many businesses and government agencies routinely levy a surcharge on consumers who opt to pay by card.
Ironically, however, businesses will still be able to charge a fee where payment is made using cash or a cheque.
The rule will not just affect businesses dealing with consumers, but also Government departments, such as local authority departments, HMRC and the DVLA.
HMRC has already said it will no longer accept credit card payments for tax bills, but will continue to accept debit cards.
Firms, however, will not be prevented from refusing to accept card payments altogether, although it is expected this will only apply to the smallest retailers.
Fears Businesses will Raise Prices
There are some fears that some businesses, in response to the changes will now just raise their prices for all customers, to ensure they do not lose out as a result of the changes.
Business Accounts Not Affected
The new regulations will not extend to business credit cards. However, where service providers are hoping they can charge fees in relation to the payment of business debts, they will only be able to do so where the card is a business card. What will be important is the type of card being used, not the purpose of the transaction.