That soft ‘compliance’ word comes at a hard cost in the retailing world. For those unaware of it, the mouthful Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), demands that you prove your security methods are up to spec if you take credit or debit cards. It has to be ‘assessed’ and this costs about thirty quid a year. Supposed to protect you from fraud - but it’s really only protecting those rhymes-with-bankers in our glorious financial institutions.

In Iain Lyall’s case (Glan Conwy General Stores) the £30 suddenly went up to £100+ Vat. He complained bitterly to Elavon and after Elavon took its sweet time in getting back to him, he further wrote: “Your delay has provided me with the opportunity to investigate the costs of alternative providers. One says it bulk buys transactions and PCI compliance checks and passes the savings to their retailers. Another has quoted £14/month for a contactless terminal (with 12.5p per debit card inclusive of authorisation and stated PCI compliance certification is only £29.99 for a single stand-alone outlet per year with Trustwave). Is that not the same company you are attempting to charge £120 per year for?”

Iain chased Elavon, which then conceded that they did add £90 on top of the Trustwave normal fee to individuals for the annual PCI fee. They agreed to refund the £90 hike and confirmed that the notice required to switch providers was 30 days.

At the time of writing Iain is waiting to see the colour of their money before he quits.

And I suggest you keep a close eye on your statements.