Fees will hurt small businesses

Tracey Warne of Unearthed Streetwear, in Mary St, had not heard about the new EFTPOS fees.
Tracey Warne of Unearthed Streetwear, in Mary St, had not heard about the new EFTPOS fees. Renee Pilcher

THE new EFTPOS Interchange Fees, which took effect on the first of this month, have given small businesses something extra to pay for.

Although the new EFTPOS Payments Australia Limited (EPAL) fees will not apply for purchases less than $15, shop owners would be charged five cents per transaction for anything higher. This would apply for most transactions, considering many businesses do not accept EFTPOS cards for purchases less than $10.

EPAL Managing Director Bruce Mansfield said in a media report released in March, the fees were charges made between the customer's bank and the retailer's.

This means retail giants Woolworths and Coles would be exempt from the fees because they manage their own terminals.

He said the fees would eventually affect the customers as the smaller businesses would have to charge customers more for their purchases.

Australian Newsagents Federation CEO Alf Maccioni said the new model was basically an "EFTPOS tax" and the fees would cost consumers and small businesses more than $150 million a year.

"This completely removes the previous level playing field for Australia's thousands of small businesses, including our community newsagents," Mr Maccioni said.

Mr Mansfield said there would be no fees for charities or Medicare Easyclaim, and EFTPOS was still a cheap payment option.

"The new five-cent interchange fee for standard POS transactions is less than half the equivalent fee of 12 cents payable for international scheme debit cards," he said.

Gympie's Unearthed Streetwear owner Tracey Warne said she had not heard anything about the new fees.

"But I'm sure I will with my transaction statement," she said.

Topics:  consumers small businesses

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