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Credit Card Surcharge Laws Australia

Credit Card Surcharge Laws Australia - A new ban stops businesses from charging payment surcharges on credit, debit and prepaid card payments that are excessive. The ACCC will investigate consumer complaints and take enforcement action where necessary.

When you pay a business using certain payment types, for example a credit card, the business incurs costs for processing the payment. These costs are usually paid by the business to its bank. Some businesses include these costs in the price they charge for their goods or services. Others pass the costs on as a payment surcharge.

A payment surcharge is an additional amount charged by a business when you pay for goods or services by one form of payment (e.g. a credit card) rather than another (e.g. cash).

On 25 February 2016 the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Payment Surcharges) Act 2016 became law. It inserted a new part into the CCA banning excessive payment surcharges and provided new powers for the ACCC.

The ban is found in the CCA, and operates in conjunction with a Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) standard.

The purpose of the ban is to stop businesses from charging payment surcharges that are excessive. That is, from charging a customer more than what it costs the business to process the payment.
A business is not required to impose a payment surcharge, but if it chooses to then it is only allowed to pass on to the customer the costs that the business was charged for accepting payment of that payment type.

The ban has a staged introduction. It currently applies to large businesses and will apply to all other businesses from 1 September 2017. A large business is one that satisfies certain revenue, asset or employee thresholds.

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