Cardtronics to amend unfair ATM contracts

A DC Payments ATM, powered by Cardtronics. Souce: DC Payments

Following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), ATM provider Cardtronics has admitted that its subsidiary, DC Payments, offered contract terms with small businesses that could have been deemed unfair by the Australian Consumer Law.

Cardtronics has given a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC to change terms that may be unfair for businesses under existing contracts.

ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said: “Business contracts need to balance the rights of each party to ensure they aren’t unfair, as smaller firms may not always be in a strong negotiating position”.

“We considered Cardtronics’ contract had several unfair terms, including automatic renewal for six years, unilateral increase of fees, and first right of refusal should businesses seek to change providers at the contract’s conclusion.”

Cardtronic has undertaken not to enforce unfair terms for all existing merchants.

“This undertaking is a great outcome for Cardtronics’ customers, as the unfair contracts protections for small business only became effective in November 2016,” Dr Schaper said.

Cardtronics contracts will continue to be automatically renewed with the minimum notice to cancel reduced from six months to three months.

Cardtronis will also provide up to five months written notice before the end of the contract.

Previously, merchants had to keep track of automatic rollover dates more than five years after entering contracts.

Cardtronics must also provide written notice of any fee increase to customers and allow them to terminate the contract without penalty under a new contract term.

The undertaking is available at Cardtronics Australasia Pty Ltd


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