Everything you need to know about EU Surcharging rules

Make sure you charge your customers according to EU surcharging rules with Adyen’s Cost Estimation API

As part of the regulatory changes in Europe (PSD2), EU surcharging changed in January 2018. These changes also apply in Australia along with its Interchange fees cap.

In simple terms, it means that surcharging is no longer allowed for consumer cards. This comes as a blow, especially for margin-conscious businesses like airlines and travel agencies, where surcharging is essential to the business model.

But don’t despair. 

Surcharging is still possible in some cases. Here’s a breakdown of what will (and won’t) be permitted from January onwards.

Visa / Mastercard consumer cards No charge permitted
Visa / Mastercard commercial cards Pass-through of cost permitted
Amex (non-franchise markets) No limit


This means that:

  • If your customer is paying with a consumer card, you will not be able to pass over the Interchange fee. 
  • If your customer is paying with a commercial card, you will be able to pass through the Interchange fee. However it must correspond to the costs that you pay for the transaction – no mark-up allowed.
  • Amex, and local payment methods remain flexible in some countries.

Correct surcharging with Adyen’s Cost Estimation API

To help you identify how much you can charge and when, Adyen created the Cost Estimation API.

Before your customer hits ‘pay’, the Cost Estimation API can tell you the type of card, the projected Interchange fee and if you're allowed to pass through the cost. It will also assess if a lower Interchange rate can be applied - reducing your costs on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about the Cost Estimation API in our documentation.

Total transparency with Interchange++

This is made possible thanks to our Interchange++ pricing model, which accurately tracks Interchange rates and scheme fees right down to a transaction level. So we can calculate the cost of each payment even before it is completed.

As well as knowing how much you can charge your customers, you get total visibility into the process, and can see exactly what you’re being charged for each transaction.

Adyen is a full-stack payments platform, including gateway, risk, acquiring and now (with our new EU banking license) settlement. There are no other dependencies in the flow, which means increased efficiency with fewer points of failure, and better results.

Since the payment never leaves our platform, you also get in-depth insights, which you can use to optimize your card approval rates, combat fraud and increase your revenue. In fact, Forrester found that businesses using Adyen typically grow overall revenue by 1.4%.
To discover how Adyen’s Cost Estimation API can work for your business, click below.