At midnight 12th January 2018 (effective 13th January 2018) the government banned surcharges on 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.

When the Government banned such surcharges on credit and debit card payments, the client benefited, but Havant Counselling – a sole-trader – still had to pay the card processing fee. Havant Counselling’s income is now reduced.

At this time Havant Counselling will attempt to absorb such costs. But doing so may have an impact on the number of lower-fee counselling places that we fund, may see a raise in counselling fees to manage costs overall, or may see Havant Counselling having to remove card and online payments in the future.

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.