Graham emailed to ask “how come [his payment provider] is allowed to deduct a credit card charge when all retailers have been stopped from doing so?”
Paul Lewis replies: The law says that any business that sells us things is not allowed to charge more for one way of paying than another.
In the past, airlines did not charge us to pay by debit card but many added 3% if we paid by credit card.
From 13 January 2018, new EU rules banned all such surcharges. Shops, pubs, online retailers, hotels, letting agents — indeed any business that sells direct to customers cannot charge more for one way of paying than another.
So if you pay by credit or debit card, cash, or bank transfer, the price must be the same.
Firms are allowed to charge supplements, however, as long as they apply to all buyers.
And that is what Graham’s payment agent did, adding £1 to all eBay purchases made through it, regardless of whether it was paid by credit or debit card.
Shops are allowed to refuse all card payments under a certain amount. Or to refuse all cash payments if they choose.