Australians back card fee choices of small businesses

A new survey has found 83 per cent of Australians support small business’ ability to choose the cheapest option to process debit card payments through Least Cost Routing (LCR).

As debit card payments now make up almost 70 per cent of electronic retail sales annually, consumers recognise the importance of merchants being able to select the lowest cost network.

Theo Foukarre, CEO of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), believes that the Reserve Bank and Federal Government should make low-cost payments the default for local businesses and keep Australia’s local payment network, eftpos, as a choice on all debit cards.

“The AACS has been advocating strongly for LCR for over four years. We have worked with a coalition of up to 12 other peak industry groups at a Federal level to assist our Members. 

“Keeping merchant fees for small business as low as possible is critical to support the economic recovery coming out of COVID-19. As the traditional consumer payment behaviours continue to shift more to mobile phone and online payments, LCR becomes even more important for merchants, as currently LCR is not available in these environments. Retailers need to be protected in this space well into the future.” 

The new research shows an eight-point rise in support of businesses freedom to choose, since the previous survey three years ago, and a 12 point increase in consumers belief that merchants are likely to pass any fee savings on to their customers, now at 45 per cent.

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