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Surcharge Savvy: The New Rules Every Business Needs to Know

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Get Up To Speed With The EFTPOS Surcharge Rules Affecting Your Business

Surcharges are a pretty standard part of running a business. As a business owner, it’s a good idea for you to be aware of these fees and the rules that govern them.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) monitors EFTPOS surcharges. More specifically, the ACCC makes sure businesses don’t overcharge their customers for using EFTPOS.

Once upon a time, it was just big business it was worried about. But now, it’s focusing on small to medium businesses who overcharge as well. As a business owner, you want to ensure you’re charging a fair and reasonable surcharge (read: fee) for customer’s card payments. And Smartpay is here to get you up to speed.

Only Got A Minute? A Summary Of Surcharges

  • Small businesses face fines and penalties for excessive surcharges. 
  • Surcharges must not exceed the costs of processing payments.
  • The ban on excess surcharge applies to eftpos (debit and prepaid), MasterCard (credit, debit and prepaid) and Visa (credit, debit and prepaid).
  • Small businesses should review their charges regularly. 

Smartpay makes it easy to surcharge. Hello, Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS.

So, What’s An Excessive Surcharge?

As a business owner, you’ve got enough to worry about. And if the fear of overcharging on your EFTPOS surcharges keeps you up at night, Smartpay can help. 

The most important thing to remember? Your friends at the ACCC and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) want to make sure these surcharges are fair for everyone, businesses and customers alike. So, all you need to do is ensure your surcharges don’t exceed the actual costs of accepting a payment. Sounds easier said than done, right?

Your EFTPOS Surcharge Made Easy

Even if maths isn’t your strong suit, you need to be across your numbers to ensure you’re compliant. With the big ban on excess fees already in place, it needs to be done pronto.

In technical speak, you work out your ‘cost of acceptance’. This means all those little costs it takes to accept payments by card from your customers. They include:

  • bank charges such as merchant service fees
  • fees for rental of payment terminals
  • gateway fees to a payment service provider
  • fraud prevention fees
  • fees or premiums to insure against ‘forward delivery risk’.

Add them together and they make up the total cost of acceptance for each payment type. And by law, these are the costs you can pass on through a surcharge. But remember, you’ll need statements and invoices to verify your costs.

With your total in hand, you can figure out how to apply a surcharge for every transaction. Some businesses like a simple surcharge across multiple payment methods, and others prefer one for each. If you do choose a flat surcharge, make sure it’s set at the lowest level so you’re never taking more than your cost of acceptance.

Thankfully, banks are now legally required to send out monthly and annual statements that set out the cost of acceptance. So, you can find a percentage figure for each card scheme to make it easy.

Still unsure? Get more info from the ACCC here.

Simplify Your Surcharge With Smartpay

Smartpay’s EFTPOS solutions are all about simplifying payments and surcharges. We have two world-class solutions to help keep your EFTPOS simple and designed for you to save. 

Our most popular: Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS. We apply a small surcharge and take the cost of it on the fly, meaning that you don’t have to worry about setting the surcharge amount or paying any EFTPOS bills again. This is time and money back to you, so you can focus on running your business. 

If you aren’t keen on surcharging, no worries. We also offer Simple Flat Rate. While you still pay the merchant service fees monthly, we charge one rate to you for your payments, tailored to your business to keep costs down. 

The Bottom Line

The key takeaway here? If you choose to implement surcharging, make sure you understand how it works to remain compliant. Choose a payment partner, like Smartpay, that makes this easy for you. We set your rate so you don’t have to worry if you’re over – or under–charging. If you go with an EFTPOS solution where you set your surcharging rate, check the ACCC’s website and resources to ensure you’re charging the right amount.

You can also read the fine print about current surcharge rules and refer to the RBA Q+A on Card Payments Regulations.

Ready to surcharge?

Learn more about how surcharging on EFTPOS works. Our Payment Specialists can talk you through Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS. See what all the fuss is about. 

Say Goodbye to EFTPOS Bills or Contact Sales on 1800 574 999

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