MasterCard chief backs RBA plans to review credit card surcharges

The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA's) decision to review the surcharges levied against consumers by retailers and other service providers using credit cards has been backed by MasterCard divisional president of Australasia Eddie Grobler.

He suggested that it would be appropriate to set the cap on surcharges at a level that reflects the true cost incurred by firms allowing customers to pay using plastic.

"I would like to see a surcharge that is directly related to cost. We know the average cost for a MasterCard transaction is 88 basis points, or 0.88 per cent," he revealed.

Based on these figures, Mr Grobler asserted that a cap of one per cent would be suitable and would represent a "true reflection of the cost".

His views may be welcomed by consumer watchdog Choice, which recently called on the central bank to take action to prevent merchants from profiting by raising surcharges.

Matt Levey, head of campaigns for the group, suggested that the RBA needs to reveal the extent of the fees paid by the public when they use plastic.

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