Travel Bulletin - - CONTENTS - Jayson West­bury, chief ex­ec­u­tive AFTA

Now is the time to start to plan for the change and to con­sider how it will be pos­si­ble for the com­ply...’ busi­ness to

There is no ques­tion that the tran­si­tional ar­range­ments which the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has in­tro­duced for credit card sur­charg­ing are hav­ing an im­pact on the travel in­dus­try. The new trans­parency ar­range­ments that came into ef­fect from the 1st Septem­ber 2016 for large busi­nesses have seen a change to the credit sur­charge rates that are be­ing ap­plied. Im­por­tantly, these new rules do not only ap­ply to the travel in­dus­try, they ap­ply across the en­tire econ­omy. How­ever, the ma­jor­ity of travel agen­cies in Aus­tralia do not fall into the large busi­ness cat­e­gory and as such have not been forced to make the nec­es­sary changes as yet. In fact, in many cases these travel agen­cies would not yet have all the in­for­ma­tion they need to be able to com­ply with these changes. So the prob­lem is how we en­sure con­sumers have the right in­for­ma­tion to avoid po­ten­tially awk­ward ques­tions at the point of sale when the credit card sur­charge rate is be­ing ap­plied. AFTA has pro­duced con­sid­er­able in­for­ma­tion packs and aware­ness guides which can all be found at­tronic-pay­ments.

In ad­di­tion, we con­tinue to do as much as we can to en­sure that ev­ery­one in the in­dus­try has the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion avail­able to them to en­sure that they know what they should be do­ing and by when. This is a com­plex is­sue and one that is very im­por­tant to the travel in­dus­try as credit card sur­charges are an im­por­tant com­po­nent to the sales trans­ac­tions and rev­enue mix. If your busi­ness is not deemed to be a large one, you have un­til the 1st Septem­ber 2017 to com­ply with the new rules. But re­gard­less of this, now is the time to start to plan for the change and to con­sider how it will be pos­si­ble for the busi­ness to com­ply with the new rules. In sim­ple terms the new rules state that the busi­ness must only charge the con­sumer what it “costs” to ac­cept the par­tic­u­lar type of credit card be­ing used. This means the rate that the bank is charg­ing the busi­ness plus those costs which are deemed to be “al­low­able”. Al­low­able el­e­ments in­clude; the mer­chant fee, ter­mi­nal rental and ser­vic­ing costs, gate­way ser­vices, fraud pre­ven­tion and the cost of third party charge backs which is known as for­ward de­liv­ery risk (FDR). FDR has been a big deal for the travel in­dus­try as far back as the col­lapse of Ansett and AFTA re­mains com­mit­ted to ex­plor­ing work­able so­lu­tions to this chal­lenge over the year ahead. As I have said, this is a com­plex is­sue and these new reg­u­la­tions for credit card sur­charg­ing are worth get­ting your head around very soon as mis­takes could be very costly to your busi­ness.

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