PSD2, the new surcharging rules

02/01/2019 Industry news

In the last few years, the European online payment landscape has drastically changed, and the European Commission took action to adjust regulations and better protect online consumers. The commission released the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in 2015 which compelled the Member States to effectively intervene and regulate the payment service industry. Among other, Member States were asked to set clear rules on webshops right to surcharge consumers, which are the rules on surcharges and how to apply them?

Can I apply surcharges in my webshop?

There are several factors to take into account before answering this question: where is the consumer from? Which payment method is he/she using? Is it a B2B or B2C transaction? Where is my company legally located?

On a general basis, the new laws will not affect B2B transactions and you will still be able to apply surcharges. The new rules should only influence your right to surcharge B2C transactions and, in particular, B2C transactions with consumers coming from the European Union.

What happens with B2C transactions?

Unfortunately, in some countries, laws are unclear or yet to be approved, leaving uncertainty around the matter. The only topic on which the payment industry experts seem to agree is the total ban on surcharges for VISA and Mastercard transactions in all Member States. Experts also reckon the surcharging rules will differ from country to country when it comes to other credit cards transactions (for example American Express, Diners Club and JCB), forcing webshops to adapt their prices depending on the consumer’s country of residence. In fact, the right to apply surcharges will be determined by where the consumer is from or, more specifically, where the consumer’s credit card was first issued.

Surcharging rules on other payment methods

Surcharging rules for the other payment methods like Bank Transfer, KBC, Belfius, SOFORT, iDeal, digital wallets and so on are not standardized nor clear. Experts are positive the topic will clarify within a few years.

Only one aspect seems to be clear and similar for all Member State: a webshop right to surcharge on these payment methods varies accordingly to the legal address of the company. As a rule of thumb, when processing B2C transactions with other payment methods than credit cards, the rules of the country of the webshop will apply, regardless of where the consumer is located.

Disclaimer: the information in this article has a general informative purpose. Given the changing nature of the law, rules, regulations and information in general, as well as the risk related to electronic communication, there could be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in the information contained in this article. As a result, the information in this article should not be used in place of a consultation with a professional consultant. We recommend that you consult the competent authority before taking any decision or action. While we have taken the greatest possible care in compiling the information released in the article, MultiSafepay can not guarantee the completeness, timeliness and / or accuracy of the information. As a result, MultiSafepay accepts no responsibility for direct or consequential damages resulting from the use of, reliance on or actions taken based on information provided in this article.