Since 2007, EFTPOS, credit and debit card payments have doubled and there’s no sign of them slowing down. As we move closer towards an inevitable cashless future, the number of card payments that merchants accept will grow and so will their merchant fees. This includes the use of mobile payments – which are currently processed as a card transaction.

Graph showing that cashless payments have doubled over the last 7 years

To maintain a good understanding on your business, it’s important to understand what you’re paying for.

When approached by one of the big EFTPOS providers, who are usually banks, they’ll give you a very competitive price that’ll seem too good to be true. It’ll be the “lowest merchant fee’s available”. If you’re already accepting EFTPOS through a bank, you’re probably thinking that your rate can’t be matched.

Once you’ve received a merchant fee bill or two you might notice that those fees aren’t all that special after all. You’ve been led to believe that this low merchant fee covers everything from accepting credit cards to your EFTPOS terminal rental fee.

At most this low transaction fee only covers your merchant facility fee and the cost of processing standard Visa/MasterCard transactions (EFTPOS).

What other EFTPOS fees are you paying for?

When looking at your monthly merchant fee bill there are a few things that are included. These are;

– EFTPOS Terminal rental and maintenance fees.
– Merchant Facility Fee.
– Domestic card transaction fees.
– International card transaction fees (cross-border transaction fee).
– Switching fees.
– Processing fees.
– Fees related to chargebacks and fraud.

Accepting EFTPOS and paying merchant fees can get confusing. The confusing merchant fee statements are how larger EFTPOS providers hide what their clients are really paying.

EFTPOS statements can be confusing.
Source: Shutterstock

How are your EFTPOS fees calculated?

These fees can differ from merchant to merchant and are based off a few factors.

These factors are;
– Monthly transaction volume
– Average transaction size
– Type of industry you’re operating in. This is due to some industries being considered ‘riskier’ than others.

The larger the monthly transaction volume, the lower the fees.

Can I offset EFTPOS merchant fees?

Up until 2016 it was normal for merchants to pass these fees onto the consumer. Ten-dollar minimum spends were common and surcharges were added onto every bill to account for credit card processing. The Reserve Bank of Australia then rolled out a ban on fixed dollar surcharges. This started with large businesses first. It then was imposed on smaller businesses 1st of September 2017.

This means that businesses can no longer charge consumers extra for using a certain payment method.

What merchants can do is surcharge the consumer the exact amount it costs to process that particular method of payment. If a Visa debit payment costs the merchant 1.5% per transaction, this is what they can legally charge the consumer.

These fees can be seen on Visa and MasterCard’s interchange fees pages here.

How do I know how much to charge?

To keep the Reserve Bank (RBA) and the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) off your back, you are allowed to surcharge consumers the lowest average cost of acceptance across all card types.

To figure this out you:

1. Look at your EFTPOS card mix history on your most recent monthly statement.
2. Work out how much it costs you to accept each card over 12 months.

This number works out to the percentage surcharge you can put on transactions with that particular card type.

Compliancy is key.

Safe2Pay helps you stay compliant by updating the lowest average cost per card type on each EFTPOS monthly statement. That way you can continue to update your surcharge amounts and stay compliant with RBA regulations.

Safe2Pay EFTPOS terminals also allow merchants to accept international Chinese wallets Alipay and WeChat Pay. These charges are also included on each monthly bill. This gives merchants a good idea into what methods of payments are really driving their business.

If you’d like anymore information regarding our EFTPOS solutions or merchant fee charges, please contact Safe2Pay on 1800 723 327 or email