Plans to ban excessive surcharges imposed on online purchases of airline, cinema and other tickets and purchases are being brought forward.
Consumers are often surprised by extra charges levied on purchases close to the end of the transaction, undermining the effectiveness of price comparisons.
The Office of Fair Trading had called for change earlier this year but the government is now going further. It is to consult in the new year with a view to introducing the ban by the end of 2012.
That effectively moves forward changes which would have been introduced as a result of European Union directives by mid-2014.
Currently, consumers can have a levy of as much as £12 applied when they buy anything from train tickets to new cars, even though the transaction may only cost 20p to process.
Even some government departments such as HM Revenue & Customs had begun to charge for card transactions.