The UK Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has launched a review of card-acquirer services following “concerns” voiced by the retail sector.
The regulator said it wanted to ensure that the supply of card-acquiring services is “competitive" and works "in the interests of merchants, and ultimately consumers”.
The PRS outlined its draft areas of investigation for the market review on Tuesday (July 26) and will keep its consultation open until September 14.
Aspects being looked into during the review include considering “whether there are credible alternatives to card-acquiring services for some or all merchants”, as well as, “the outcomes of the competitive process including the fees merchants pay and the quality of service they receive”.
New consumer laws outlawing card surcharging were brought into force on January 13 leading travel associations and agent organisations, including Abta and The Travel Network Group, to urge for a review into card-acquirer services.
Under the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) all credit and debit card surcharging is illegal.
The legislation also applies to other payments such as Apple Pay and PayPal although corporate cards are not included under the ban.
Looking to help offset the financial impact on agents, a number of tour operators raised commission throughout 2017 and in the New Year.
Other suppliers also partnered together to promote the benefits to agents of selling ancillaries to soften the monetary blow of PSD2.
Hannah Nixon, managing director of the PRS, said: “With more and more of us using our payment cards to make purchases, we want to make sure that retailers that accept card payments can access card-acquiring services that are competitive, offer value for money and are innovative - working in both their interests, and consumers’ interests too.
“This is about making sure that payment systems work well for everyone, and we will look to make changes if we think improvements should be made.”