How will the card payment surcharge ban affect the UK self-catering industry?

Almost half of UK self-catering business owners and agencies will either increase their prices or add a booking fee when the ban on adding card payment surcharges comes into force next month.

From 13 January 2018 it will be illegal to charge guests extra for paying for their holiday by Visa and Mastercard; this is the result of an EU directive. In the UK the government has extended the ban to cover payments made by American Express and Paypal as well.

The purpose of the legislation is to save the consumer this cost, but providers will still be charged to process card payments. So what’s going to happen? We surveyed self-catering businesses and agencies in the UK¹ to discover what they’ll do when the legislation takes effect.

The results

What affect will the ban on card payment surcharges have on self-catering businesses?
‘Other’ answers included stop taking payments by card or Paypal. Given that over 85% of payments are made by card² this is risky. Not accepting card payments creates a massive barrier to guests that want to book now.

Finally, to the 1% of participants who said they will apply a discount if a guest pays by bank transfer – this is still charging guests more if they pay by card. And that is what is being banned.


¹ 511 participants
² 85% of SuperControl client’s bookings are paid by card.