Move puts end to card charges

South West card users will no longer feel the pinch at the cash register after the Federal Government banned excessive surcharging for all businesses from last Friday.

The extension of the ban to all businesses follows the move applying to big businesses from September 1 last year.

Smaller businesses were granted extra time to prepare for the ban and must now restrict any card payment charge to the reasonable cost of acceptance of the payment.

Business South West chief executive officer Fiona Fitzgerald said it was “about time” for the move.

“A lot of businesses in Bunbury aren’t even doing it, but then others are charging a whole extra 50c or extra $1,” she said.

“They are the ones that are going to have to pull their prices into line.” Mrs Fitzgerald said consumer education was an additional benefit of the changes.

“The good thing about this is that people are being educated about those real costs – so if someone says it is an extra 50c, you can go well hang on, its not, its only about 4c,” she said.

“If you want to compete with others you don’t make a profit from your credit card charges, it’s not the done thing.” Forrest MHR Nola Marino said the ban would give the South West community “confidence” that card surcharges reflected the true cost of the transaction.

“As the South West gets set for the footy finals people can purchase tickets and airfares free of inflated card payment surcharge hits,” she said.

“This is practical action from the Turnbull Government and delivers immediate results.” Consumer Protection South West region coordinator Annetta Bellingeri said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner had new powers to enforce the ban and would investigate complaints.

Source: Bunbury Herald.