Advantage Travel Partnership has published a 12-page guide to help its members adapt to new laws that will require retailers to absorb charges for transactions made via credit and debit card.

The Profit Protection Plan provides support, advice and practical solutions for agents ahead of the EU’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which comes into force on 13 January 2018.

It addresses areas such as operational changes, money-saving opportunities and increasing income to protect their businesses.

Advantage group commercial director Paula Lacey said: “We hope our members find the profit protection guidance helpful and insightful and it inspires them to take steps to protect their businesses ahead of PSD2 coming into force.

“We cannot emphasise enough the significance of PSD2 and how taking action now can help lessen the impact it will have on business.  The Advantage membership is broad and diverse and one size does not fit all and there is no single ‘silver bullet’ solution but by publishing the guidance paper we are offering some practical advice to help our members understand the impact and mitigate the additional costs resulting from the new legislation.”

Members are asked to calculate the annual amount paid in card payment merchant fees and the resulting percentage of profit and Advantage predicts that consumers will increase card payment usage post abolition of card payment surcharges.

The consortium has developed a downloadable calculator tool so the potential cost to a members’ business can be calculated using total turnover by card type and merchant rates.

Tip to increase revenue to offset the cost of processing card payments include renegotiating commission with suppliers and selling ancillary products.

It also includes tips on how to shave costs such as printing in black and white over colour and using Freephone numbers.  The Advantage Business Development Team has also developed a directory of third party supplier partners who offer financial planning, HR and sales training.

Advantage has offered its support to Abta in its government lobbying campaign to reduce the handling fee charged by a customer’s card company to the agent’s merchant acquirer. Advantage managing director Julia Lo Bue-Said has urged travel companies to assist Abta by providing evidence of the detrimental effect on businesses, which they require ahead of a statutory review currently set for 2019.