A ban on “excessive” credit and debit card surcharges comes into force on April 6, preventing companies from charging consumers anything more than it costs them to process payments.

The ban should make it easier for consumers to know exactly how much online items cost and put an end to large booking fees added by entertainment and travel companies at the end of payment transactions.

Consumer group Which? claims that airline passengers have been paying more than £265,000 a day in card surcharges.

However, the Office of Fair Trading said that it would be difficult to establish by exactly how much costs will go down, as payment processing costs vary widely.

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