Pharmacists look to route debit card transactions via EFTPOS

Pharmacists are being advised to save costs by urging debit card-paying customers to use the cheque or savings options rather than the credit option, it has been reported.

According to Pharmacy News, pharmacies have been hit with higher transaction fees as a result of consumers being encouraged by their banks to use the credit option when paying with MasterCard and Visa debit cards.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Guild Group commented: "When consumers select ‘Cheque’ or ‘Savings’ they use the Australian-owned EFTPOS network, which comes at a total cost to the retailer of around five to ten cents per transaction, regardless of the transaction amount.

"When consumers select ‘Credit’ however, the retailer pays the culmination of three sets of fees."

The news may interest Aussies looking to compare debit cards in search of the best spending options. One solution recommended by the Guild Group is to get pharmacy staff to ask if customers want to take cash out when they pay by debit card, which can only be done by selecting the cheque or savings option.

EFTPOS Payments Australia is planning a major upgrade of the EFTPOS system over the next three years in response to the growth of rival debit cards from international providers.

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