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Author: JP / / Latest News

Changes to Charges at the Checkout

Card and Bag Charge Image

Charges for card charges and carrier bag charges are set to change. As of January 13th there will be a ban on card charges and there are plans to roll out the 5p bag charge to all shops.

Bag Charge

In 2015 the Government rolled out a 5p charge on plastic bags. This was a charge that had applied to businesses that had 250+ employees. This mainly hit large supermarkets. Since 2015 there has been a reported 9 billion carrier bags out of circulation. This means 83% of all plastic bags are not in circulation, being shoved in a cupboard under the sink or sent to landfill.

Now there are talks of rolling this charge out to all shops. This will even include small corner shops. The aim is to continue the trend of declining plastic bag use. The 5p charge will be for all shops who give out a plastic bag, with the proceeds of going to charity.

 

Card Charges

As of 13/01/18 it will be illegal to add a charge for using a debit or credit card to pay for a transaction. At present it is common practise for small businesses and for other businesses such as airline companies to charge for transactions using a debit or credit card. This is usually to cover the costs that the business will incur from the card transaction. Fees include transaction fees and commission which go to the card machine company.

This may affect small businesses by them having to pay more out of their own funds for customers to use a card or apple/android pay. Some believe this will raise prices of products as businesses seek to recoup the money this way.

A common theme used by small shops and pubs already is, only accepting card payments over a certain price. This is a method where consumers can only pay via card if the transaction totals (usually) over £5 or £10. This will still be a legal procedure past 13/01/19. It could be a procedure that becomes more popular with small businesses.

The charge ban however doesn’t cover charges such as booking fees. Booking fees charged by rail companies and cinemas will still be legal past 13/01/18. This is also the same for airlines who charge extra for choosing a seat after purchasing the ticket.

HMRC have already said that they won’t accept credit card transactions from personal credit cards. More information on this can be found here.

The charge will be EU law and has been written into UK law also. Therefore once Britain leaves the EU it will still be enforced.

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