by Graham Pierrepoint
The way in which we pay for goods and services has become ever-more convenient – while many of us will have been using credit or debit cards for some time now, it remains fairly clear that e-wallets such as PayPal or even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could be emerging as would-be replacements for physical or card currencies decades down the line. This being said, cards have been a part of our financial culture for considerable years now – and while they have remained enormously convenient both in-store and online when checking out, some firms and services have levied an additional charge simply for the fact that you are using such a card with them. This card fee has been enormously unpopular for some time – and to the relief of many UK shoppers, it’s finally been outlawed.
The move came recently as British Parliament motioned to outlaw credit and debit card transaction fees on goods and services – meaning that even if they were expected to pull in an extra 50p from orders made online or in-store should cards be getting used in any capacity, they will no longer be permitted to levy any additional fees that have previously applied. This means that many stores and businesses will see a cut in revenue as a result of such fees being outlawed, and while it may be a good move on behalf of the consumer, it’s thought that some firms and online stores may already be looking at ways around the ban – either by renaming the fee outright or by raising their prices.
This second possibility is becoming a very real concern according to some experts, who feel that the removal of a card fee will simply encourage costs to spike even further across a multitude of retailers. On the other hand, it may even encourage some firms to remove the option for credit or debit cards completely – personal ones, in any case – though for many, it will likely still need to be a commodity that is kept firmly in place.
Quite what will happen to the UK’s financial landscape remains to be seen for a number of reasons – what with Brexit looming large – but this latest change could see things change rather dramatically indeed for shoppers who are used to having to face a fee when their baskets are full!