Laws tar­get greedy card sur­charges

Pilbara News - - Business - Tom Zaun­mayr

New laws to ban ex­ces­sive card sur­charges by busi­nesses have been passed by the Fed­eral Govern­ment and will take ef­fect this year.

The laws equip the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion with pow­ers to en­force the laws, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to gather in­for­ma­tion from those in­volved in pay­ments process and the au­thor­ity to is­sue in­fringe­ment no­tices against those en­gag­ing in ex­ces­sive sur­charg­ing.

Durack MHR Melissa Price said the new laws en­sured a fair deal for Durack con­sumers.

“Card and other elec­tronic pay­ments fa­cil­i­tate bil­lions of trans­ac­tions ev­ery year,” she said.

“While many mer­chants do pass on costs fairly, some en­gage in this prac­tice abu­sively.

“The ban on ex­ces­sive sur­charg­ing will work in tan­dem with Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia Pay­ments Sys­tem Board stan­dards that will set the per­mit­ted sur­charge for pay­ments.”

If the ACCC forms the view that a mer­chant has en­gaged in ex­ces­sive sur­charg­ing, it may is­sue an in­fringe­ment no­tice, in­clud­ing a penalty for listed cor­po­ra­tions of up to 600 penalty units, cur­rently $108,000, for each al­leged con­tra­ven­tion.

The sched­uled com­mence­ment of the new laws will al­low for the RBA con­sul­ta­tion process to take place, while pro­vid­ing a rea­son­able pe­riod for mer­chants to pre­pare for the new ar­range­ments.

Pic­ture: David Foote

Melissa Price has wel­comed new credit card laws.

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