No more surcharges for debit and credit card payments

No more surcharges for debit and credit card payments


Credit card payment at terminal in shop


On the 13th of January some important changes were introduced to rules on credit cards and access to financial information, which could affect small businesses. Here are the things you need to know about if you’re a business owner.

It’s going to be illegal to charge customers for paying by credit or debit card

Any business that accepts card payments will fall under the remit of a change in the law, which will prevent adding a surcharge if a customer pays by debit or credit card. This includes both online and physical transactions as well as applying to public agencies.

Corporate, business and commercial debt cards are excluded by the new legislation.

Why is it happening?

It’s because of something called the European Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) comes into force, which includes a ban on surcharges for card transactions.

The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is a piece of European legislation that requires payment service providers (PSPs) to make changes to existing operations. The new legislation follows on from the 2013 rules, which banned businesses from charging more than it cost them to process the payment.

As part of the new legislation it will be illegal for any business to charge extra for using a debit or credit card anywhere in the EU.

Can I still have a minimum spend for someone paying by card?

As businesses have to pay the bank when a customer uses a card, many make the decision to put in place a minimum spend, below which card payments will not be accepted. This will not be illegal under the new legislation and so businesses can still do this.

You won’t be able to pay your tax bill with a personal credit card

The UK’s tax agency, HMRC, has decided not to accept personal credit card payments as they now consider them too expensive to process.

What does HMRC’s decision mean for my business?

With HMRC now refusing to accept personal credit card payments, businesses will have to use one of the following methods of payment when paying their tax:

  • Direct Debit
  • Faster Payment
  • Bacs

The alternative is to use a corporate, business and commercial cards and debit cards which aren’t affected by the new legislation. Beware that you will be subjected to a surcharge if you choose to pay this way.

It’ll be easier to compare financial products… but your data will go to more people

In August 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a ruling ordering the nine biggest UK banks to allow licensed startups direct access to their data, right down to the level of current account transactions. This has led to the creation of Open Banking which enables personal customers and small businesses to share their data securely with other banks and with third parties. This will allow you to compare products and manage your accounts using regulated third parties to provide new and innovative payment services.

How does Open Banking work?

Open Banking will enable companies to give more accurate personal financial guidance, tailored to your particular circumstances and delivered securely and confidentially.

To be able to provide tailored advice for your business, companies need to know how you use your account. Currently, to get personal finance guidance, you have to give over all of your confidential banking information.

With Open Banking, approved companies will be able to see your transaction information and this can help them find the best account, or loan, that suits you and your business.

What third parties have signed up?

In order to be able to access Open Banking, companies must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that your data isn’t available to just anyone. You have to give consent before any third party can access your banking data. If you don’t want your provider to share your data with third parties, nothing will change from how it is at the moment.

All data passed between companies will be encrypted and protected.

The list of approved companies can be found on the FCA register.

SOURCE: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)


by 15 Jan 2018
What will be The Colour of 2018?

What will be The Colour of 2018?


Are you planning a new design for your website, product packaging, interior design or fashion and wonder what will be the colour of 2018? Well, probably you can guess from the picture that, indeed, the colour of 2018 will be Ultra Violet (Code 18-3838) according to Pantone, which is a fabulous new shade of purple.

Why this particular purple? It appears that Pantone’s new distinctive blue-based purple hue was created in honour of international icon, Prince, and was inspired by Prince’s custom-made Yamaha purple piano which was originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57. Prince’s association with the colour purple was galvanised in 1984 with the release of the film Purple Rain, along with its Academy Award-winning soundtrack featuring the eponymous song. Paying tribute by developing a special purple colour for this globally renowned talent known worldwide as “The Purple One” seemed only right and a way for his artistic legacy to live on forever.

Pantone describe this new purple shade as a colour that is a combination of the excitement of red and the tranquility of blue making it in essence the marriage of two diametrically opposed emotions. Conveying an aura of mystery, intrigue and unconventionality, this colour will definitely stand apart from all others in the year to come.

As packaging design becomes more sophisticated, Ultra Violet offers complexity and nuance that appeals to our desire for originality in all that we touch. Similarly, in graphic design, Ultra Violet resonates with this dynamic medium through its multi-dimensional feeling. Shades of Ultra Violet are increasingly used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out.

On the runway or the streets, Ultra Violet is an enchanting purple that provides a theatrical linkage for both men’s and women’s styles. True to the coupled nature of Ultra Violet, created by combining red and blue, Ultra Violet lends itself to unique color combinations in fashion and is easier to pair with all colors on the spectrum than one might think. With golds or other metallics, Ultra Violet becomes luxurious and dazzling; with greens or greys it evokes natural elegance. Similarly, Ultra Violet takes on distinct appearances with different materials. Lush velvets in the color suggest intrigue for evening, but are also unexpectedly modern in athleisure or sneakers. In accessories, jewelry, and eyewear, Ultra Violet suggests the complexities of natural gems, textures, and florals.

Ultra Violet becomes spell-binding and steeped in spirituality in beauty to create expressive looks for all. The complex and deep nature of the color is well-suited for beauty looks created by combinations, blends, and ombres. A singular matte purple on the lips or nails makes a bold statement of non-conformity, while softly blended metallics and shimmers in Ultra Violet transform the eyes into windows to the cosmos. Purple shades in hair continue to elevate street styles as a symbol of creative expression. On the palette for every beauty medium, Ultra Violet complements and emboldens every other color, adding complexity and mystery.

In interiors, Ultra Violet can transform a room into one of extraordinary self-expression, or conversely its polish can tone down a room with subdued, modern pairings. Adding spice and brightness, Ultra Violet calls attention to a tufted couch, piece of art, or accent wall. As a color that can take you in so many directions, Ultra Violet makes a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness. In hospitality, we are seeing purples like Ultra Violet take center stage in interior spaces as large and small hotels harness color and design to entice travelers and stay relevant.

How to Use the Pantone Colour of 2018

Pantone have created eight different colour palettes that feature PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet to help you bring this year’s special shade into your designs. All colour bases are covered; brights, deeper hues, pastels, mid-tones, and metallics. With Ultra Violet as a versatile trans-seasonal and gender-neutral anchor in every palette, each of the eight palettes conveys its own distinctive feeling and mood and can easily cross-over fashion and accessories, beauty, home interiors, and graphic design applications.

To further inspire your creative juices, within each of these eight colour stories they have also included three suggested colour harmonies. The colour harmonies provide you with examples of how individual colours in the palette can be mixed together and in what proportion or measure. The uniquely developed colour bars which make up the colour harmony accompany each highlighted colour story.
We also strongly encourage you to explore each of these eight palettes on your own. Create your own combinations. Develop your own individualized color mixes. Imagine and invent. Experiment and express. And most importantly, have fun. There has never been a better time to be original and leave your very own colorful mark on the world.


by 9 Dec 2017