'Exorbitant' credit card surcharges may be abolished

The New South Wales government is launching a research project into excessive credit card surcharges, which may result in the abolition of some fees.

Consumer advocate group Choice has said taxis and airlines are charging customers up to 10 per cent on transactions, the Daily Telegraph reported.

According to Choice, the cost of processing credit card transactions is closer to one per cent for airlines.

The Reserve Bank (RBA) abolished the "no-surcharge rule" in 2003 to allow merchants to recover the costs of card use. However, there have been growing complaints that the fees imposed by companies have been too high.

"Businesses should be entitled to recover costs, but I don’t think it is fair for consumers to be slugged with charges just for using a credit card," fair trading minister Virginia Judge told the newspaper.

The news may interest Aussies who decide to compare credit cards in search of the best offers. RBA assistant governor Malcolm Edey recently said the bank is not yet sure whether more competition or direct regulation is needed to reduce fees imposed directly by credit card companies.

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