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Tap-And-Go Costs: Banks Warned

SYDNEY – The Reserve Bank has warned Australian banks that they risk further regulation if they fail to address retailers’ concerns over the mounting costs imposed on tap-and-go payments made via debit cards.

It is urging the banks to permit transactions to be processed via Eftpos, rather than the banks’ own fee system.

According to the RBA, merchants’ average fee for a Visa or MasterCard transaction is 0.58 per cent, compared with just 0.26 per cent for Eftpos, which has recently been upgraded to handle tap-and-go payments.

Until recently, none of the banks offered merchants the option to have debit card payments sent through the cheaper Eftpos network, but the ANZ Bank last month told a parliamentary hearing it would make the change.

National Australia Bank has said it is considering a similar move, but the CBA and Westpac have yet to announce any such move.

The Australian Retailers Association has estimated the current system is imposing more than $290 million in payment costs – and some estimates put it much higher.

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