Aussies to benefit from lower credit card surcharges

Aussies could be set to benefit from new rules from the Reserve Bank that will limit the amount of surcharges businesses can add to credit card payments.

When the changes come into force next year, analysts have suggested the average fee for using a Visa or MasterCard will more than halve.

Last year, about 30 per cent of the $235 billion worth of credit card transactions in Australia attracted a surcharge. While the cost to merchants of processing a credit card is around 0.9 per cent of the total, the average fee levied on consumers is 1.9 per cent.

This gives merchants an additional $700 million in revenue a year, though Visa Australia country manager Vipin Kalra said the company will take a "very, very robust" approach to businesses issuing excess charges when the new legislation comes into force.

MasterCard corporate affairs vice-president David Masters added: "The Reserve Bank has empowered us to take action on this matter in the consumer interest and we will be looking at all options."

The credit card provider has also predicted a growing number of people in Australia will demand to use mobile devices instead of payment cards to make in-store transactions.

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