Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan has welcomed the Government’s move to ban retail outlets and other businesses from imposing unfair card surcharges.
“This is good news for consumers in the Northern Rivers and will help relieve cost of living pressures,” Mr Hogan said.
“Consumers paying by credit card are often hit at the register with an exorbitant surcharge well above what the actual cost is to the business for the transaction.
“In some instances, airlines, ticketing agencies, hotels and a range of other businesses are charging up to 1.5 to 2 per cent in surcharges on top of the cost of the item or service – well above the costs of the credit card transaction to these businesses.
The Government will consult with stakeholders about the proposed changes, with the ban on excess credit charge surcharges likely to start mid-next year. The proposed legislation would limit any credit card surcharge to the reasonable cost of accepting the card by a retailer.
“Any business with credit cards payment facilities, including online businesses, can expect to come under scrutiny,” Mr Hogan said.
The Government has proposed the consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, will be responsible for enforcing the surcharging regulations.
“Under the proposed legislation small businesses will still be able to pass on their costs to conduct a transaction, but it will be limited to the actual cost,” Mr Hogan said.