Australians having credit cards issued by Aussie banks need not worry anymore about the constant increase in surcharge amount as the authorities have made it illegal.
The Federal Government passed a bill in February and made the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission powerful enough to take big decisions relating to high payment of fees while making credit card payments. On Sept. 1 when the law came into existence officially, the ACCC banned the increase in surcharges for users making payments using MasterCard, Visa, EFTPOS and American Express issued by Aussie banks.
The ACCC now has greater power to crack down large businesses that indulge in this frustrating practice. As a direct result, most large companies have “revised” their pricing practices beginning today. However, there are some exemptions in this case, which include payment made through BPAY, Diners Club cards, PayPal and American Express cards provided directly by American Express.
“We will be enforcing these new rules from today, and the ACCC encourages all large businesses that haven’t already to ensure their payment charging methods are in line with the new law,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. “The new law has caused many large businesses to review their pricing practices. We expect to see a move from flat-fee surcharge for purchasing items like flights towards percentage-based or capped surcharges.”
Life Hacker stated that the new rule will make large business charge 0.5 percent on payments made via debit cards, 2 to 3 percent for American Express payments and 1 to 1.5 percent for credit cards. It has also been reported that some businesses might also charge higher. On the other hand, the ACCC also claimed that some of the event ticketing companies might change their pricing practices based on the transformation in the surcharge practices made for Australian credit card users.
Gizmodo reported that the initiative will be applicable only for “large businesses” for 2016 while it will be included in all types of businesses from Sept. 1, 2017.