From Saturday 13th January an EU wide ban came into force making it unlawful to surcharge consumers for using credit and debit cards including other electronic payment methods e.g. PayPal.
N.B. The ban does not apply where the consumer uses a corporate credit or debit card or other electronic payment method, even where they are purchasing personal items. The ban applies to the physical method of payment not the status of the consumer.
Ironically, it is still lawful to apply surcharges for payment by cash or cheque. (Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012. These regulations limit charges to consumers who are buying goods and services.)
In the U.K. the ban will be enforced by Trading Standards (an already overstretched body). Consumers can also bring a legal action (although it remains to be seen if they will be motivated for a few pounds).
A more detailed and useful article can be found here.
This article is intended for U.K. readers and is for guidance only. We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any information provided by any third parties.