Card surcharging by merchants


(Jonathan Jensen) #1

I’ve just bought a rail ticket at trainline.com and despite selecting MasterCard Debit for no surcharge the merchant applied the MasterCard Credit surcharge of 55p. This suggests that despite the Alpha card being a prepaid card and having Debit on the back, the BIN (card number range) is not recognised as Debit so merchants lump it in with credit cards. I believe this does happen with some other prepaid cards but one to watch. Guess this will get resolved when Mondo issues its own cards and they are ‘real’ debit cards linked to a bank account.


(James Billingham) #2

You should be able to get TheTrainLine to refund this amount. If they refuse, you are able to take up the case with the financial ombudsman, etc.

But yes does sound like a BIN/IIN issue. Probably should be added to the known issues list - Known issues / bugs 🐛🐜🐞


(Tristan Thomas) #3

Hey @sevendotzero, that’s a pain - sorry! We’re following up with contacts at Trainline now but it’s probably worth you getting in touch as well if you can :slight_smile:


(Jonathan Jensen) #4

Hi Tristan. Thanks. I have raised a case with them via Twitter and their payments team are checking it out.


(Jonathan Jensen) #5

Another card surcharge today. Paying for a flight with Norwegian Air and they wanted to charge me £3.20 because they recognise the card as MasterCard Credit. When I selected MC Debit and entered the card number, the card type dropdown changed to MC Credit. I ended up paying with Amex (with £3.20 surcharge) as I might as well use a credit card if the transaction is going to be treated as one.


(Tristan Thomas) #6

Ugh sorry! We’ll try and follow up with Norwegian Air and get them to update their card tables


(Jonathan Jensen) #7

Did you get anywhere with Trainline? I’m just about to chase them again.


(Tristan Thomas) #8

We’re trying but haven’t got anywhere yet…if you had time and were up for it, some prods from users might help :wink:


(Jonathan Jensen) #9

I’ve chased Trainline and apparently they’re waiting for their payment provider to revert. Clearly their payment provider isn’t in a rush!


(Tristan Thomas) #10

Thanks! Fingers crossed their payment provider isn’t too slow. Sorry for the problems :frowning:


(Jonathan Jensen) #11

Prepaid cards have always been a bit of a grey area when it comes to BINs. When you are a bank and a principal member of MasterCard (or Visa) and issue your own cards your BIN will be correctly recognised as debit. I wonder how many acquirers / PSPs currently see it as credit? It’s generally only noticeable to the consumer where the merchant surcharges. However it means the merchant is paying credit not debit interchange rates.


(Jonathan Jensen) #12

I’ve now had a response from Trainline re the credit card surcharge.

"Our Payments Team have checked with the bank and as your card is a European Debit card, it had been marked as a credit card as European cards are classed as credit cards.
_ _
As your bank is in the UK, we have changed this so in future you will not be charged a credit card fee for any transactions made on this card."

Seems like the BIN is causing an issue. Could that be because Wirecard is a German bank, even though the card is issued through it’s UK business?


(Jonathan Jensen) #13

And Trainline has now refunded 55p to my Mondo card. An expensive mistake for them judging by the number of people involved and the time taken to resolve it!


(Jonathan Jensen) #14

They assure me the BIN is now whitelisted for every Mondo customer.


(Tristan Thomas) #15

Thank you so much for following up on this @sevendotzero! Sorry for all the hassle but glad it will hopefully work in the future for other Mondonauts :slight_smile:

It shouldn’t be because of Wirecard (we work with their UK arm) - most likely it’s because Trainline/their payment processor hadn’t/had incorrectly updated their BIN tables. We’re seeing this happen occasionally across a variety of merchants, which often results in a) card surcharges or b) outright refusal of the card.

Thank you again, much appreciated on our end :smiley:


(Jonathan Jensen) #16

Very happy to help. It’s good to be able to discuss it with an issuer that understands!


(daniel.blears) #17

Not related to the mondo card whatsoever. But are you aware that the train line are one of the only online rail ticket sellers to charge credit card and admin fees for tickets.
You can use your local companies ticket booking page get exactly the same deals as the train line regardless of which company you go with and pay no fees.
I use Transpennine express’ booking page as they give nectar card points to!!
http://www.tpexpress.co.uk
Happy booking!!


(Jonathan Jensen) #18

Yes. I usually use Southern however I’ve noticed that Trainline sometimes has cheaper tickets, plus on one occasion Southern would only offer me First Class tickets.


(Julia) #19

Is there no overall approach or process you can use for getting companies to update their tables otherwise you will spend a lot of time following up behind these kind of issues?


(Danny) #20

I get card charges from Just Eat or is that just them trying to get more money from us?