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The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) have written to the Payments Systems Regulator, calling for a dispensation for the automotive industry for debit card charges.
A cap on credit and debit card fees was introduced on 1 September 2016. This was intended to be fairer to consumers by lowering fees on smaller debit card transactions, but has led to unintended consequences for car retailers and auctions. The credit card cap has not offset the increase in debit card charges that the new fees bring, meaning businesses are paying considerably more to process card payments.
Fees have increased from between 40 to 60 pence per transaction, to 2% of the whole transaction, which can equate to a £300 fee on a £15,000 transaction. This is a common problem for businesses that trade in high value goods such as cars. It is uneconomical for the sector to absorb these extra costs and it is likely that the additional charges will be passed on to the customer in higher prices or card handling fees.
Many dealers and auctioneers have moved to taking debit card payments from cash in order to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and they are now being penalised with higher fees.
Following Brexit, we need to support investment, as well as business and consumer spending. We have to ensure that households have a disposable income, and dealers and auctioneers should not be forced to pass the new charges on to consumers.