Kuoni to increase agent commission to offset ban on card charges

Kuoni is to increase the commission it pays to agents to offset the ban on credit card fees.

Independent agents will receive 0.5% more commission from the operator from January.

Under the EU’s Payment Services Directive 2, which is due to come in in January, agents will no longer be able to pass on card fees to customers meaning they could be left out of pocket.

It follows a move by Aito which recommended its members increase commissions to help agents pay for fees incurred when processing customers’ card payments.

Kuoni is the first operator to announce such a move.

National sales manager, Brad Bennetts, said: “It may be good news for consumers but the impact on agents’ bottom line from not being able to charge for credit card payments will be significant.  We know this topic has been front of mind for many of our travel agent partners.  The financial impact is a genuine cause for concern for them.

“Trade support is really important to our business and we want to send a clear message to agents now to say that we get it.  We’ve listened and we want to take early meaningful action to help you to run your business profitably.

“We will cover the agents’ costs by raising commission.  It will be there for all independent agents from the start of next year when the legislation is due to come into force.  In developing this proposal we had some really useful conversations with The Advantage Travel Partnership who have welcomed our move.

“As industry leader for worldwide travel for more than 50 years, we remain firmly committed to supporting and investing in the trade.  It feels right that we should take the lead in responding to this potentially costly legislative change.”