As an entrepreneur, you can choose to pass on the costs you incur for payment methods to the customer. This is also called 'surcharging'. If you want to pass on surcharges for a payment method, you must take certain rules into account. Surcharging is in principle prohibited under the PSD2 regulations. In this article we explain as clearly as possible what is and is not allowed.
What is PSD2 and what does it say about surcharging/surcharges?
The Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) is a European directive on payment services. PSD2 came into effect on January 13, 2018 and replaces the 2007 Payment Services Directive (PSD1). The PSD2 applies within the European Economic Area (EEA). This means that all companies trading in this area must comply with PSD2.
PSD2 has five objectives:
- promoting competition in the European payments market
- enable innovations in payment transactions
- protection of participants in payment transactions
- increase the security of payment transactions
- contribute to a single European payment market.
For the purpose of 'protecting participants in payment transactions', the PSD2 regulations state that the passing on of costs for payment instruments is in principle prohibited. For example, the following is described on the European Commission website:
PSD2 bans surcharges on payments made with most consumer debit and credit cards, both in stores and online. 'Surcharges' are common in some Member States, especially in online payments and in specific sectors such as travel and hospitality. The ban on 'surcharges' applies to both domestic and cross-border payments. In practice it will cover approximately 95% of all card payments in the EU.Source: European Commission
This shows that no surcharge should be charged to consumers for most debit and credit cards. An exception to this prohibition applies to payment methods. Business payments are also excluded from this ban.
Code of conduct for post-payment / Buy Now, Pay Later (BPNL)
A code of conduct for Buy Now, Pay Later services came into effect on October 30, 2023. Four major providers of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services have drawn up this code of conduct to improve the quality of services. According to post-payment provider Riverty, it is now prohibited to charge extra costs for post-payment:
According to the Supreme Court's ruling on June 30, 2023, charges for using BNPL products at the checkout will now result in the purchase being qualified as credit under the Consumer Credit Act (Wck). This ruling makes it prohibited to charge such costs. Failure to comply with this rule may result in fines from the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) for providing credit without a permit. If you charge extra costs for using BNPL, we strongly advise you to remove this from the checkout.Riverty
There are several authorities that have published information about this:
- Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) – October 27, 2023 – Post-payment code of conduct is positive, but European regulations remain necessary
- Thuiswinkel.org – November 2, 2023 – Charging payment costs for post-payment is no longer possible in many cases
When can you charge costs?
For the Dutch market, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) monitors the enforcement of PSD2. The ACM reports her website the following:
You may no ask for surcharges at:
- Debit card payments;
- Transfers via internet banking within the SEPA area;
- Direct debits within the SEPA area;
- A credit card from a so-called four-party payment card scheme such as Visa or Mastercard.
You may well ask for surcharges at:
- PayPal payments;
- Acceptgiro payments;
- A credit card from a so-called three-party payment card scheme, such as Diners Club or certain American Express cards;
- A business credit card;
- Another payment instrument for which no maximum interchange fee applies (see Chapter 2 of the European interchange fee regulation).
The ACM notes the following:
- You may not charge the costs of the underlying transfer itself.
- You may well charge the costs for the iDEAL services that make this transfer possible.
- You may never charge more than the actual costs. So only the actual costs that you pay to the company (in many cases the PSP) that accepts the payment for you.
- In addition, the consumer must know what the costs for a payment are before making a purchase. You can do this by stating the surcharges separately.
That is how it works
Passing on costs through surcharging is your own choice. Whether and how you do this is up to you. In addition, it varies from person to person plugin whether this is possible. You are responsible for compliance with (local) laws and regulations at all times.
Disclaimer: Pronamic tries to give the best possible picture of what is and is not allowed. Because rules and legislation can change regularly, this page may contain errors and no rights can be derived from them.
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