New rules announced by ACCC on excessive credit card surcharges

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been tasked with enforcing new legislated bans on excessive credit card surcharges in a bid to reign in the $1.6 billion of excessive surcharges forked out each year by the Australian consumer. becoming law in February this year, the new provisions will limit the amount businesses can surcharge customers for use of payment methods such as most credit and debit cards. The limit of surcharge will be linked to the direct costs of the payment method such as bank fees and terminal costs as used by those businesses.

The new rules will be implemented over a two stage compliance period to all retailers over the next 12 months and will apply to six card systems – EFTPOS, Debit MasterCard, MasterCard Credit, Visa Debit, Visa Credit and American Express cards issued by Australian banks:

  • From 1 September 2016 –  compliance for large retailers with a consolidated gross revenue of $25 million or more, a value of its consolidated gross assets of $12.5 million or more, or employ 50 or more employees
  • All other merchants will have until 1 September 2017 to implement the changes to any applicable surcharge structure

The ACCC is finalising online guidance material for consumers and businesses, which will provide further information on the ACCC’s enforcement role, what businesses need to do in order to comply, and how consumers can make complaints if they believe a business has charged a payment surcharge that is excessive.

 

More info about compliance from ACCC