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APPLE PAY P2P Payments Coming To Apple Watch In The Autumn

 

apple-watch

 

 

Peer-to-peer payments are coming to the Apple Watch this fall with the release of iOS 11 and watchOS 4.

On its website, Apple said that Apple Pay users will be able to send and receive money quickly, easily and securely via its peer-to-peer payment platform. The feature will be available right in Messenger, or users can tell Siri to pay someone using a virtual debit card or credit card already loaded into the digital wallet. When users get paid, they will receive the money instantly in the new Apple Pay Cash card that will reside in the Apple Wallet.

The move on the part of Apple to include P2P payments with the new iOS 11 and watchOS 4 comes at a time when the company is trying to get Apple Pay in the hands of more users. Earlier this month, Didi, the Uber of China (and, in fact, the local service that gobbled up Uber China last August) announced it has added Apple Pay support to its Didi Premier, Didi Express and Didi Luxe personal mobility services, in addition to its partner station-less bike rental service ofo, according to a TechCrunch news report.

Apple Pay is standard fare on any iOS device, allowing users to authenticate payments biometrically – today, with their fingerprints, and soon using Face ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. That’s on top of other iOS features Didi already supported, including Siri-powered ride hailing from within the Maps app or via the Apple Watch. With the addition of support by Didi, Apple Pay joins the likes of WeChat, Alipay, QQ Wallet, international credit cards and CMB all-in-one net payment, all of which power Didi’s core services. It also comes at a time of increased competition from Fitbit, which recently launched the Ionic smartwatch.

 

(Pymnts, 2017)

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Avoid being hit by the Government’s credit card surcharge ban with Cheaper Pay!

As of January 2018, businesses will be stripped of their ability to add any surcharges to their card transactions.

Airlines, fast-food chains and small businesses will be those who suffer most from the ban, but there are ways in which these companies can make up for this potential loss of capital.

Cheaper Pay’s industry-leading payment solutions come in at a staggering 40% cheaper price than the likes of WorldPay, Barclays and Lloyds – offering terrific value for money, as well as bearing the costs that may be lost in profit once these government changes come in to fruition next year.

Having provided UK businesses with the crème de la crème of payment technology for over a decade, Cheaper Pay are well placed to install the ideal payment system that is perfect for your business’s needs.

For a FREE no-obligation quote, get in touch with one of our specialist advisers today on 03301 242 537.

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Contactless payments are ready to donate a helping hand!

Contactless Payments are set to become increasingly involved in charity fundraising appeals. The move comes as statistics published late last year showed an incredible rise in the amount of money spent with contactless devices.
According to the UK Card Association, November 2016 saw a £2,903m spend in the UK through contactless mediums – an incredible 183% rise on the previous year.
Now, that incredible figure is set to be translated onto the fundraising scene, with many charities recognising that people are more inclined to spend contactlessly than with spare cash.
Some major charities have already began trialling the scheme, with the 2015 Red Nose Day producing statues that housed contactless payment points where people could donate.
Furthermore, The Blue Cross then introduced a scheme in 2016 where people could ‘Pat and Tap’ the dogs on show to donate £2.
With contactless payments on the rise, the increasing ingenuity of charities to use these schemes as a means of increasing fundraising totals is something that will definitely increase during the coming months and years.

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Sole Trader? There’s no need to go it alone – and employing these three people could help!

Many small business owners run their entire enterprise alone, which is perfectly understandable when it comes to keeping costs down.
However, going it alone as an SME is difficult to say the least – and employing these three people can help you take your business to the next level.

1) Accountant
As a small business owner, your goal is to make money–so it only makes sense to consult a professional to help you manage this crucial aspect of your business. Becoming a business owner naturally adds complexity to your tax scenario, so at tax time, an accountant can be crucial for making sure you’re in full compliance and are filing correctly.

2) Assistant
Being a solo business is difficult. Tasks and communications that don’t have to do directly with the day-to-day of customer relations, creating or offering your products and services, and other immediate tasks might become backed up, or even fall by the wayside.
This is where an assistant can come in handy. By employing a loyal employee, you can leave the simple store transactions while having more time to deal with the important things!

3) PR and Marketing Assistant
Getting your name out there is a key factor in achieving a successful business; and a PR and marketing executive can help achieve just that.
Having someone directly available to create social media content, produce flyers and leaflets, manage marketing and deal with outside queries can hugely improve your business reputation as you progress up the success ladder!

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Why the new £1 coin could be the last ever made as Britain moves towards a cashless society

The two-tone pound coin boasts innovative security features which supposedly make it the most secure on the planet. It is also the first UK coin in circulation since the threepenny bit to feature a design of octagonal proportions.

But despite its impressive design, there’s every chance that this will be the last £1 coin in the history of our currency.

Why?

The decline of coins and notes is not just being driven by the convenience of alternative, more high-tech payment methods – it’s also because of the simple fact that cash costs money to make!

The UK is a world leader when it comes to alternative payments. In 2015 alone, Brits spent over £21bn via contactless payments – more than any other country on the continent.

This explains why every business, from popular chains to pop-ups, know that their customers expect to be able to pay by their card, mobile, or wearable device – and over 17.m UK businesses now accept payment cards.

As if we needed any more proof that it’s time to convert to contactless and mobile payments, we now officially have it!

Get in touch with a member of our team today to identify the payment solutions that are perfect for YOUR business.

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How card payments have developed over the past decade

Over the past decade, UK consumers have adapted to the quick pace in which technology develops, including the way they pay for goods. Payments made on cards now account for 78.5% of all retail purchases, a huge increase from just 55% back in 2006!

 

2006 – 2008

One of the main reasons for this huge increase is the adoption of payment methods such as Chip and PIN and contactless, making card payments faster than using cash and allowing business owners to reduce the amount of queuing time. This benefit has led to an increase in the amount of independent businesses deciding to accept card payments of a massive 43% since 2006.

 

2008 – 2010

Consumer spending patterns continue to change to match the technology with fewer people in the UK actually carrying cash because they are quickly discovering the convenience and security of cashless payments.  There is no doubt that numerous retailers and banks are starting to see the changes in how people prefer to pay for their in-store purchases and are now more inclined to encourage customers to carry less cash and pay for smaller purchases (usually below the sum of £30) on card with ‘tap and go’ contactless payments.

 

2010 – 2015

Growth in unattended retail terminals in supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations has also boosted card use and debit cards are benefiting significantly from contactless payments, as their popularity for lower value everyday payments carries on increasing.

 

In January 2015, contactless spend in the UK totaled £287 million, rising rapidly throughout the year to reach £1.02 billion in November 2015 alone. In the same year, the number of contactless transactions carried out by consumers in Europe passed the one billion mark.

 

2016

Now that we’re in 2016, contactless mobile payment technologies, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have given consumers more choice in the way they want to pay. According to a report, 40% of consumers with an Apple device have adopted the Apple Pay service since its launch in July 2015.

 

It is predicted that over the next ten years, consumers will continue to favour using card payments to cash. Last year, nearly half of all payments were made in cash, however it is predicted that debit cards alone will overtake cash as the most frequently-used method of payment in just five years.

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CheaperPay VS The Major Banks

We understand that many people, for peace of mind would opt to go to their bank for their business needs. However, in an age of uncertainty moving forward with cases such as Brexit, we would ask that you look into our services and how we can provide the same service as your bank for your business, but for LESS.

Starting a new business is a risk – with you investing in a business it’s important to make savings wherever you can. That’s why when you sign up we give you three months FREE to ensure that your business is definitely up and running. Unfortunately, signing a contract with a bank means you are unlikely to get the same benefits.

We make sure that when you sign up with us, you get a personal touch. We make sure you’re up and running with our machines within 2 weeks and that you get a monthly statement every month. As well as that, you’ll get the peace of mind knowing that when a transaction is made, it will appear in your business account within 2 days plus the transaction date.

You are also likely to face extra charges when you apply with the bigger banks, and hidden fees that could hinder and hurt you financially in the long-term. We make our service crystal clear, and we wanted to give you that extra peace of mind by giving you not only three months free, but even £50 when you refer a friend to us. We endeavor to make your business feel part of a community.

For more on how we can help transform your business, contact us today!

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Our Simple & Uncomplicated Sign Up Process

GET A QUOTE
Call us and speak with one of our accredited advisers for a free quote.

REGISTER OVER THE PHONE
We are a ‘Green Company’, CheaperPay reduces cost and waste by arranging everything over the phone. No paperwork required.

TERMINAL ARRIVES
We aim to have your terminal delivered as early as 5 working days.

INSTALL IN SECONDS
It is a quick and easy process of installation. If you are unsure or not ‘Tech Savvy’ don’t worry. CheaperPay has a help desk who are more than happy to assist installation.

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Visa: Most People Back Biometric Payments

Majority of people want to use biometrics when making payments, with fingerprints the favoured option.

New research from Visa has revealed that a clear majority of people are in favour of combining biometrics with their payment process.

The Visa Biometric Payments study surveyed over 14,000 consumers across seven European markets. And it comes at a time when the use of biometric technology is being actively debated as a way to improve transaction security.

Safer Transactions

Biometric technology of course has been around for many years now, but thanks to some high-profile launches of late such as Apple’s TouchID system and Windows Hello, the technology is being used by more and more people.

And the Visa survey revealed that two thirds (73 percent) of people believe that two-factor authentication, where a form of biometrics is used in conjunction with a payment device (i.e. a mobile device or card reader), would make for a more secure payment authentication.

Half of people (51 percent) believe that biometrics would make payments faster and easier, and 68 percent want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. The survey revealed that biometrics would mostly help online retailers, as nearly a third (31 percent) of people have at some stage abandoned a browser-based purchase because of the payment security process.

And it seems that 33 percent of people appreciate the fact that biometric authentication means their details would be safe even if their device was lost or stolen.

“Biometric identification and verification has created a great deal of excitement in the payments space because it offers an opportunity to streamline and improve the customer experience,” said Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships. “Our research shows that biometrics is increasingly recognised as a trusted form of authentication as people become more familiar with using these capabilities on their devices.”

“Biometrics work best when linked to other factors, such as the device, geolocation technologies or with an additional authentication method,” said Vaux. “That’s why we believe that it’s important to take a holistic approach that considers a wide range of enabling technologies that contribute to a better end-to-end experience, from provisioning a card to making a purchase to checking your balance.”

What type?

Fingerprint recognition is viewed as the most favourable secure option by 81 percent of respondents. Iris scanning is backed by 76 percent of people.

But most people are comfortable with fingerprints, as 53 percent of people expressed a preference for fingerprint over other forms of biometric authentication when using it for payment. The other biometric choices such as voice or facial recognition as a payment method are much less popular.

The survey also found that 48 percent of respondents want to use biometric authentication for payments when on public transport. 47 percent want to use biometric authentication when paying at a bar or restaurant, and 46 percent want to use it to purchase goods and services on the high street at a coffee shop or fast food outlet for example. 40 percent want to use it when shopping online and 39 percent when downloading content.

Biometric Uptake

Biometric technology is seeing increasing use of late, not just because of its incorporation into mobile and computing devices.

Earlier this year HSBC launched new biometric logins for its customers. Barclays also allows some of its corporate clients and Wealth customers to log in to their accounts using a biometric reader, and also has voice recognition software, enabled for certain users, with RBS and NatWest also offering fingerprint technology to some customers.

Previous research has found that younger British consumers are the most comfortable with using biometric data to verify their accounts.

 

 


Jowitt, T. (2016) Visa: Most people back Biometric payments. Available at: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/security/authentification/people-biometric-payments-195063 (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Could you be the next victim of identity fraud?

We explain the different types, how they are committed and ways to keep your money safe.

  • ID fraud claimed more than 148k victims last year – a 57% annual rise
  • One couple had £8k stolen from their joint account by criminals
  • We explain all of the ways you can fall victim – and how to prevent it

The rate at which individuals’ personal details are being stolen by criminals is rising fast. Fraud experts say the public need to be more vigilant than ever.

Laura Shannon explains the different fraud types, how they are committed, and explains ways to keep your money safe.

Identity fraud claimed more than 148,000 victims last year – a 57 per cent rise compared to the year before. Cifas, the financial crime prevention service, says every demographic is being targeted – with fraud affecting all age groups.

But how it happens remains a mystery to many victims.

This was the case for retired couple Mike and Sheila Fairholm, both 67, who had £8,000 looted from their joint account with NatWest while they were on holiday in Berlin last December – and where they had not used their cards and only took cash.

When they returned to their home in Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne, they found Mike’s log-in password for online banking had been changed.

After using Sheila’s log-in, which was unaffected, they discovered £8,000 had been spent at a spread-betting company. Curiously the sum was returned to them in three instalments – all while they were still away.

The Fairholms also noticed £1,000 had been transferred from their savings account to their current account.

Despite not having lost any money, the couple are concerned about how this could happen and keen to get answers. Sheila says: ‘The bank cancelled my husband’s debit card, which had been compromised.

Mystery: Mike and Sheila Fairholm had £8,000 ¿looted¿ from their joint account while they were on holiday

Mystery: Mike and Sheila Fairholm had £8,000 ‘looted’ from their joint account while they were on holiday

‘But it seemed unconcerned that someone had been able to access our online banking details, change passwords and spend a huge amount of money leaving us overdrawn for a couple of days. We were astonished at its reaction and worried it was not taking the fraud seriously.’

It was suggested to the couple there was a virus or malware on their home computer. But they took it to PC World to be checked over, at a cost to themselves, only to be told the device was secure.

The Fairholms also use F-Secure software to help keep their information protected.

 Mike visited his local NatWest branch to discuss the fraud with a manager, only to discover the couple also had a £10,000 overdraft on their account, which they weren’t aware of and did not ask for. This has now been reduced.

The manager suggested Mike’s card had been compromised in the run-up to Christmas when he had bought items online, but Sheila says this does not explain how someone could access their account and change passwords.

NatWest says: ‘We take fraud extremely seriously. We are working with the Fairholms to ensure their accounts are kept secure.’

The couple took the computer to PC World to be checked over only to be told the device was secure

The couple took the computer to PC World to be checked over only to be told the device was secure

The different types of fraud: 

Identity fraud 

Criminals glean personal information about an individual to open accounts in their name, order a mobile phone contract, request other goods in their name or empty their current account.

Investment fraud 

Sometimes known as ‘boiler room’ fraud.

Savers are convinced by phone or email to invest in ‘unbeatable opportunities’ and with high yields ‘guaranteed’.

The fraudsters will try to build a rapport with their victims over time, and may even produce sham brochures and make false claims about how the company is regulated.

The investment itself will often be a high-risk unregulated product – such as wine, art or diamonds – if it exists at all.

Scams 

This is a general term covering a broad number of rip-offs affecting people in the UK on a daily basis.

They range from bookings for holiday homes advertised by fake landlords, a sham adviser promising to unlock money from a pension before the age of 55, or demands for payment by doorstep tradesmen for ‘urgent’ property repairs.

Scams can include demands for payment by doorstep tradesmen for 'urgent' property repairs

Scams can include demands for payment by doorstep tradesmen for ‘urgent’ property repairs

All scams and frauds combined are thought to cost individuals nearly £10billion a year – the equivalent of £202 for every UK adult and more than £300 per second.

This figure comes from the UK Fraud Costs Measurement Committee, and is based on academic research by the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies.

Consumer group Citizens Advice is running Scams Awareness Month throughout July to help people learn more about common scams and how to spot them.

For more information visit citizensadvice.org.uk or call the charity’s consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

The methods used 

Social engineering 

Specific details about victims are taken from information freely available online, such as addresses and ages posted on social media.

Often this will be all that is needed to open an account in that person’s name or to tease more information needed from an account holder.

Phishing/smishing 

People are tricked into clicking on links in emails or texts – perhaps because it looks to be from an official source, such as Revenue & Customs, a popular shop or someone they know.

Clicking on the link downloads ‘malware’ on to a computer or phone. This is software that lets crooks see account numbers and passwords that have been used on that device.

Pressing issue: Clicking on a dodgy link downloads 'malware' on to a computer or phone, which is software that lets crooks see account numbers and passwords that have been used on that device

Pressing issue: Clicking on a dodgy link downloads ‘malware’ on to a computer or phone, which is software that lets crooks see account numbers and passwords that have been used on that device

Phone fraud 

Skilled scammers impersonate bank employees or police to find out a person’s account PIN or password.

The caller will suggest there is evidence of fraud on an account and recommend the person phones their bank’s fraud department.

When the account holder hangs up and dials the number, the original call is never disconnected.

The fraudster then plays out a script pretending to be a bank employee and once they have the householder’s trust, will ask for a PIN or password.

Hacking

Customer data, such as debit or credit card details, are traded by criminals in hidden corners of the internet not visible to the average computer user.

This information is available because of data breaches by companies or hackers targeting businesses – such as what happened with TalkTalk last October.

Hackers can also tap into public wi-fi hotspots.

Wi-fi hotspots are not secure and a fraudster would be able to see whatever other users are looking at

Wi-fi hotspots are not secure and a fraudster would be able to see whatever other users are looking at

Stephen Proffitt, deputy head of Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, says: ‘These internet connections are not secure and a fraudster would be able to see whatever other users are looking at – such as internet banking and passwords. It is better to use your mobile phone’s data allowance for this as it is more secure.’ 

A flaw in NatWest’s security was highlighted earlier this year by BBC Radio 4 programme You And Yours, which found it was possible to hack into a person’s account using a stolen mobile phone, with no need for log-in or password information.

The programme demonstrated how a criminal could take a victim’s phone, contact their bank claiming to have lost log-in details, and then be sent a unique activation code that gives access to the account.

The fraudster was then free to change the account password and PIN so only he or she could access it. NatWest consequently made changes to its security to address these concerns.

Card skimming and shoulder surfing 

Cloning technology on debit and credit card terminals or on cashpoints copy a user’s card details. A camera or someone hovering over a customer’s shoulder at a till or ATM will then pick up what PIN is entered – giving them easy access to the account and its contents.

Proffitt says: ‘There may be a device on a cash machine that you are unaware of. Always cover your hand when entering your PIN.’

Customer fraud and failure

Customers are often blamed for fraud as a result of being careless about their details. But sometimes the bank’s lax security and crooked employees are responsible.

The Mail on Sunday has been told privately by a bank employee that staff need to be trained about the dangers of ‘phishing’ just as keenly as their customers.

In other words, customer details have been or could be compromised just as easily by bank employees falling for fraudsters’ tricks.

Insider fraud is another problem, where rogue employees drain customer accounts.

Less than a fortnight ago a Barclays apprentice cashier working at the Kensington branch of the bank in London was sentenced to 33 months in prison at the Old Bailey for using details of 25 customer accounts to open new accounts, take out loans and request new cards and PINs.

He intercepted the post and used these new cards to empty customer accounts. Victims all received refunds but the loss to Barclays was £167,370.

Meanwhile, two bank insiders at Halifax and Lloyds were jailed on June 8 after working with a wider gang on a series of frauds to steal more than £400,000 from customers.


Shannon, L. and Laura+Shannon+For+The+Mail+On+Sunday (2016) How to spot an ID thief. Available at: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/guides/article-3682199/Could-victim-identity-fraud-ways-spotting-ID-thief.html (Accessed: 11 July 2016).

 

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Contactless payments in vogue for Barclaycard and Topshop accessories

News: Card payments on the increase as mobile and contactless take off.

Barclaycard and Topshop have teamed up on a range of contactless payment accessories.

The NFC-enabled bracelets, phone cases and keychains come as part of the bPay collection that was launched in 2014.

Users that have a UK registered Visa or MasterCard, debit or credit card will be able to add funds to their digital wallet using a mobile app, online through the bPay web site, or set up an automatic top-up, which will add funds to their balance one it falls below a pre-set level.

The accessories contain a bPay chip by Barclaycard that links to the digital wallet.

Britain is clearly a big fan of contactless payments and paying by card instead of cash, with rising online and contactless transactions increasing spending on debit and credit cards by 10% to £660 billion in 2015.

Online card spending increased by 20% to £210 billion from £175bn in 2014, this means that almost a third of plastic spending takes place on the internet. Paying by mobile is also on the increase with half of online spending taking place on tablets and smartphones, up from 37% in 2014, according to figures from the UK Cards Association show.

Contactless payments are also on the increase, partly thanks to the increase in the payment limit to £30 and nearly half of all cards issues now having contactless capabilities. In 2015 £7.75bn was spent via tap and pay, compared to £2.32bn in 2014.

Graham Peacop, CEO, UK Cards Association, said: “With the amount spent using contactless cards almost trebling between 2014 and 2015 and the payment limit increasing to £30, it is clear 2015 was the year contactless went mainstream.

“Whether buying a sandwich on the go, or paying for a round of drinks or a tube journey, contactless has become the default way people choose to pay for every day shopping.”

 


Nunns, C.J. (2016) Contactless payments in vogue for Barclaycard and Topshop accessories. Available at: http://www.cbronline.com/news/internet-of-things/consumer/contactless-payments-in-vogue-for-barclaycard-and-topshop-accessories-4919256 (Accessed: 8 July 2016).

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Balance transfer war hots up as Tesco Bank launches fee-free 24-month deal

Tesco Bank has launched a new 24-month fee-free 0% balance transfer card, matching the market-leading deal launched by Halifax earlier this week.

As with the Halifax deal, the new Tesco ‘No Balance Transfer Card’ charges no interest on debts transferred from other cards for up to two years, and there’s no balance transfer fee either.

However, people looking to shift a credit card debt might find the Tesco Bank deal the more attractive of the two, as all successful applicants will receive the full two-year interest free period.

Halifax will only offer the full 24-month 0% period to 51% of people who qualify for the card. Other successful applicants will only get a 13-month interest-free period.

The Tesco No Balance Transfer Card charges 18.9% APR once the 0% period is up, but while “most” successful applicants will receive this rate, some borrowers will be charged 20.9% APR or 23.9% APR, subject to their credit history.

Halifax’s two-year fee-free balance transfer card also charges 18.9% representative APR, though borrowers that don’t qualify for the advertised rate will also be charged higher interest rates, at 21.9% or 25.9% APR.

While this is the strongest deal, if you can repay your card debt over two years, anyone looking to pay down a larger credit card debt might want to consider a longer interest-free period. Several lenders offer interest-free balance transfers for up to 40 months.

 


Moneywise (2013) Balance transfer war hots up as Tesco bank launches fee-free 24-month deal. Available at: http://moneywise.co.uk/news/2016-07-07/balance-transfer-war-hots-tesco-bank-launches-fee-free-24-month-deal (Accessed: 8 July 2016).

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EU ban on credit card fees backfires – you’ll still pay 2.5pc to spend

Consumers are still having to pay high fees when using credit cards despite new EU regulations that have capped transaction costs.

At the same time, the rules have resulted in millions of cardholders losing popular perks such as cashback.

As of December 2015, the EU ruled that the “interchange fee” – paid in the first instance by the shop – on credit and debit cards could be no more than 0.3pc and 0.2pc repectively.

Up to then the typical fee was 0.8pc, with shops passing on the cost to customers either through higher prices or explicit credit card usage fees.

The intention of the EU’s new rules was to lower this cost and with the hope that consumers would benefit from lower prices and fees.

But many readers have contacted Telegraph Money confused as to why they continue to pay far more than 0.3pc when using a credit card. Airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet still add a 2pc charge, for example, and some cinemas charge over 5pc –in the form of fixed-sum “card handling fees”.

The regulations make clear that shops and other sellers of services “must not charge consumers, in respect of a given means of payment, fees that exceed the costs borne by the trader for the use of that means.”

In other words, these fees shouldn’t be used to boost retailers’ profits.

But with some firms charging nothing, and others 2pc or more, that is precisely what Your Moneyreaders, among others, believe is happening.

James Daley, managing director of consumer campaign group Fairer Finance, said: “There doesn’t seem to be anyone policing credit card charges. Nobody is stepping up to these companies and asking them why they apply a 3pc surcharge when others process cards transactions for free.”

According to the Department for Innovation and Skills, unfair surcharges are only looked into when there is a complaint. The first point of call is consumers’ local trading standards office.

Complaints are rare, partly because the sums are often small – but also because the companies that levy the charges are quick to justify them.

The industries that charge

Richard Koch, head of policy at trade body, the UK Cards Association, said the worst offenders are airlines, cinemas and travel agents.

When paying for a flight, customers could expect to pay a 2pc credit card charge with Ryanair. EasyJet applies the same 2pc charge plus a £13 “administration fee” which it adds to all bookings. Flybe and Monarch charge 3pc.

Ryanair told Telegraph Money that the charge reflected the cost of processing credit card payments, including bank fees.

Easyjet took the same line. A spokesman said: “The 2pc transaction fee applied to credit card payments covers all costs associated with processing the transaction of which the bank charge is just an element.

“Other associated costs have increased significantly, particularly in relation to card data security.”

Online travel agents apply charges too. Customers who book a trip through Travel Republic could expect a 1.99pc surcharge if paying by credit card and Thomson applies a 1.5pc fee.

Rail firms and cinemas also charge. Everyman Cinema adds 75p to every ticket booked online.

Even the Government charges taxpayers who pay with credit cards – although here at least theses fees appear to be falling.

Until recently, the government charged a 1.5pc fee for those who wanted to pay tax by credit card. As of April 1, it has been reduced to “better reflect the costs associated with different credit cards.”

When asked about the varying costs, an HMRC spokesman said: “We don’t make a penny from credit card charges. We are merely passing on what we are charged for processing a credit card payment.

“We have introduced and published separate rates to better reflect the costs associated with different credit cards.”

A surcharge is not applied when paying for driving licences and passports. However, the DVLA does add a £2.50 fee to vehicle tax payments by credit card which it says cover the costs of processing the payment.

A number of high-profile firms, such as Trailfinders, do not charge customers for using credit cards.

A Trailfinders spokesman said: “Unlike other travel companies, we don’t charge extra for the use of credit cards or unwanted hidden extras, nor do we charge a premium rate telephone number.”

Sainsbury’s and online marketplace Amazon also do not add on a surcharge.

Homeware retailer IKEA dropped its fee in 2010.

Cashback rewards cut

While the rules appear not to have stopped some firms from levying high card fees, they have had another distinctly negative impact. This is the dramatic decline in cashback and other cardholder perks.

Capital One, one of the biggest credit card providers, was the first to cut its cashback scheme.

It withdrew all of its reward cards in April 2015, saying the EU rules meant they were “no longer sustainable.

A month later, RBS and Natwest announced the end of the “YourPoints” scheme which gave customers one point per £1 spend.

War workers queuing for a midnight show at the cinema. circa 1940

A 75p “card handling fee” applied to your cinema ticket may not seem much – but it could be 5pc of your ticket

 

Tesco Bank* was another provider which slashed its rewards scheme. In November, it announced that customers would need to spend £8 outside of Tesco to earn one Clubcard point, instead of £4 previously.

At the time, a Tesco spokesman said: “As a result of changes in the credit card industry taking affect this year, the amount that card companies earn from businesses who accept credit cards is reducing.”

M&S Bank also cut rewards. Customers were told they would earn one point for every £5 spent from February 2016, instead of the usual £2.

Instead of reducing the cashback, some providers increased the annual credit card fee – Santander’s 123 credit card* went from £2 to £3 a month in January.

Santander suggested the EU commission ruling was part of the decision.

It added: “ The European commission ruling on interchange has significantly reduced the fees banks receive.”

European Commission competition spokesman, Yizhou Ren, said it was too early to judge whether costs borne by consumers would fall.

“It is quite possible that these reductions in interchange fees have not yet been passed on to merchants,” she said.

What to do if you think the surcharge is unfair

If you feel like your credit card costs is unjustified, the first thing to do is to complain to the retailer.

If this doesn’t work, you can complain to your local authority’s trading standards officers.

Another option is to try alternative dispute resolution where an independent party will look at your case to try and help you and the retailer to reach an agreement. According to Citizens Advice, most judges will expect you to try this before taking the matter to court.

 


Murray, A. (2016) EU ban on credit card fees backfires – you’ll still pay 2.5pc to spend. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/credit-cards/eu-ban-on-creditcard-fees-backfires–youll-still-pay25pc-to-spen/ (Accessed: 7 July 2016).

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Barclaycard bPay turns watches contactless

Barclaycard is expanding its bPay contactless payments range through the introduction of a small case that can be attached to watches and fitness bands.

The bPay Loop is a silicon case containing an NFC chip that can be slid onto the strap of watches and fitness bands with open buckles.

Launched in 2014 bPay is available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard, debit or credit card, not just Barclaycard and Barclays customers. Users add funds to their digital wallet on-the-go using a mobile app, online through the bPay web portal, or set up an automatic top-up which adds funds when their balance falls below a pre-set level.

Bpay was initially launched as a wristband and is also available as a sticker and fob, with over 100,000 products sold. Barclaycard says that the latest Loop version comes in response to customer demand for a way to add payment functionality to wearables people already own.

Available to buy online for £19.99, Barclaycard has also teamed up with Swiss watch maker Mondaine and fitness tech outfit Garmin to offer Loop to those purchasing selected items from both brands.

Tami Hargreaves, commercial director, digital consumer payments, Barclaycard, says: “Thanks to the huge growth we are seeing in contactless payments, we are increasingly becoming accustomed to being able to make low-value payments throughout the day, in a quick, easy, convenient way. Loop makes that easier than ever.”


Finextra (2016) Barclaycard bPay turns watches contactless. Available at: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/29140/barclaycard-bpay-turns-watches-contactless (Accessed: 7 July 2016).