What is Surcharge/Service Fee?
Businesses incur costs when they accept a credit or debit card payment from a customer. Different cards incur different costs – cards that offer significant rewards to consumers can be substantially more expensive. Implementing a surcharge or a service fee on card payments allows businesses to recover the cost of accepting expensive card payments.
What are the new RBA rules regarding excessive surcharging?
The new surcharging framework introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia ensures that businesses have the right to surcharge in order to cover the cost of accepting card payments whilst ensuring that consumers are not excessively surcharged.
What is a “reasonable cost of acceptance”?
The new RBA measures allow businesses to surcharge for merchant service fees and terminal rental, but prohibits profiteering.
Which cards can I apply a surcharge/service fee to?
  • VISA, VISA Debit, VISA pre-paid
  • MasterCard, MasterCard Debit,
  • MasterCard pre-paid
  • Express companion cards
Can I set a common or blended surcharge rate across different cards?

You may choose to set the same surcharge/service fee rate for a number of different payment schemes, provided that the surcharge/service fee is no greater than the average cost of acceptance of the lowest card accepted. For example, if the surcharge for a credit card is 1.5% and for a debit is 0.5%, you can surcharge a flat maximum rate of 0.5%.

What happens if I choose to surcharge above the reasonable cost of card acceptance?

The Government has given to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation and enforcement power over cases of possible excessive surcharging. Fines may apply. Visit the RBA Website for the latest information.

How does the ACCC define payment surcharges?