The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) have backed calls from major retail associations for the Reserve Bank to mandate least-cost routing for merchants.

C&I Magazine reported last week that ACAPMA, ARA, COSBOA and MGA had formed the Fairer Merchant Fees Alliance to push for the RBA to reduce merchant fees for ‘tap and go’ payments ahead of the RBA’s Review of Retail Payments Regulation.

The group claim Australian retailers are slugged excessive fees – which they estimate in the hundreds of millions – due to payments being routed through international payment networks.

And AACS yesterday echoed their concerns, calling for the RBA to instead implement a least-cost-routing system via the cheaper domestic Eftpos system.

In their submission to the review, AACS have said this would see convenience stores save thousands in fees, which would flow through to better employment opportunities, CEO Jeff Rogut said.

“In this challenging time for retail and small business generally, it’s critical for small business to minimise their costs of doing business and this includes minimising what they’re charged by their banks for providing tap-and-go payment options for their customers,” he said.

“We want to ensure that any move by the banks to make least-cost routing available to retailers includes all retailers, small and large. We are moving towards a cashless economy and it’s vital that transaction fees are kept as low as possible.”

“We think there’s an opportunity for regulation stipulating that the processing of all debit transactions initiated in Australia must be done through a designated Australian-based payments system like Eftpos,” he added.

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