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At midnight 12th January 2018 (effective 13th January 2018) the British government banned surcharges on all credit card, debit card and online payments made by cards (e.g. PayPal).


Previously, when a client wished to pay for their counselling session – in person – using a credit card or debit card, the service used to provide this payment (iZettle) would take off 2.75% as their processing fee. This fee was passed onto the client for the convenience of using a card payment (approx ÂŁ1.50 for every ÂŁ50 spent). Payments in cash, cheque and bank transfer were – and continue to be – free of charge to both client and Havant Counselling.

Unfortunately, when the Government banned such surcharges on credit and debit card payments, small companies or sole-traders like Havant Counselling still continue to pay the processing fee from the card services (eg around 4%). This means that for every ÂŁ100 Havant Counselling charges, ÂŁ4 is lost.

Havant Counselling will absorb this loss,  but doing so will have a minor impact on the number of lower-fee counselling places that we subsidise. Eventually we may raise our counselling fees to manage costs overall. It is unlikely Havant Counselling will remove card and online payments in the future, though.

Such a shame the government thought it better not to exclude small businesses like Havant Counselling whilst going after big players (such as airline travel services – looking at you: Ryanair). At the same time, leaving Financial Institutions – who make the card charges in the first place – untouched by the same regulation.

Such regulation could have been thought through with much better consideration to whom it effected.

Banner Image: ‘Credit Cards and Cash’ © Sean MacEntee.