On Wednesday, the United Kingdom announced a comprehensive ban on all consumer-facing debit and credit fees for purchases made through Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and American Express.

Previously, British merchants could charge up to 20 percent of purchase price to consumers opting to pay with a credit or debit card. New EU regulations will soon ban so-called “rip-off” fees for Visa and Mastercard purchases, but Wednesday’s measure extends the UK’s ban to PayPal and American Express as well.

“Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end,” said Steven Barclay, Economic Secretary to the Treasury. “This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the check-out just for using a card.”

Merchants found to be charging rip-off fees must reimburse customers beginning in 2018 or face a heavy monetary penalty. Industry experts, including James Daley of the consumer group Fairer Finance, recognize this as a decisive victory for consumers throughout the UK.

“Card fees are a way of being able to snatch an extra few pounds off customers when they were at the checkout,” Daley said. “It is good news that this will be ending.”

Good news for consumers, but bad news for payment service providers. With the financial disincentive of consumer credit and debit purchases out the window, cardholders will turn more and more to their wallets for plastic, driving up volumes and, in turn, increasing the odds of a fraudulent or disputed purchase. Chip and PIN verification still pose wide and considerable risk to the entire payment ecosystem, even two decades after being put into practice.

The resulting burden falls on the back-office operations of banks and payment processors, already strained by the overwhelming trend of rising dispute and exception rates.

For Issuers, this means more and more credit and debit disputes; for Merchants and Acquirers, this means less and less of a safety net to support the cost and complication of disputed payments. Businesses cannot thrive when inundated by the cost of payment disputes, adversely impacting organizational structures, staffing models, and KPIs.

With the uncertainty of the payments industry today, banks, merchants, and processors now more than ever need a business partner seasoned in delivering dispute management solutions, managing impactful projects, and – above all else – understanding the needs and nuances of your business. All of this and more is possible with Lean Industries and AdjustmentHub™.

Payment service providers cannot control the market conditions surrounding them, but there is one thing they can control: having a partner skilled in preventing the operational pain of disputed payments. That partner is Lean Industries.

Market conditions are changing around the world – not just in the UK. Why not enlist a partner you can rely on? For more information about making our solution a reality for your operations, visit our contact page.

Dave Patrick is a Business Analyst for Lean Industries with over thirteen years of experience in the banking industry. He specializes in client reporting, data analysis, and cardholder correspondence.

As initially reported by NPR and The Telegraph.