ARA supports retailer right to make credit card surcharges

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has come out in support of the individual right of retailers to apply surcharges for credit card purchases.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman argued that despite the Reserve Bank's decision in 2002 to allow retailers to choose whether or not to pass on the cost of accepting credit card payments, many retailers still chose not to do so.

He commented that good retailers understood the need to consider their customers' experience when deciding whether or not to directly charge for credit card usage, adding that the majority would not overcharge or charge at all.

"Charging directly for credit card usage is also about customer choice because it creates a user-pay system instead of the merchant service fee being absorbed into the price of all goods, just like other operating costs" said Mr Zimmerman.

Consumers aiming to boost their spending power could choose to compare credit cards and other money products in search of the best deals. The ARA's statement comes after a survey by consumer advocate group Choice found that 68 per cent of people do not believe retailers and other businesses should be allowed to charge extra to those who choose to pay with plastic.

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