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The ACCC targeting Australia’s travel sector to stop excessive credit card surcharging

In the last week the ACCC has taken action against two businesses for charging excessive credit and debit card payment surcharges. Effective from 1 September 2017 for all businesses, if a business chooses to impose a payment surcharge, they can only charge customers what it costs them to process a payment.

Payments with CC

For those AFTA members that are part of the AFTA Chargeback Scheme (ACS), their payment partner can ensure they are complying with the payment regulations as well as being protected against chargeback loss from a supplier insolvency.

Given the recent enforcement activity by the ACCC, for those AFTA members not yet part of the ACS, they should JOIN NOW to ensure that they are compliant with the law and access the protection against chargeback loss.

In the first court case on excessive surcharging, the ACCC have commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against, Europcar (CLA Trading Pty Ltd), alleging it has breached the Payment Surcharge Laws. The ACCC alleges that Europcar customers who used Visa or MasterCard credit cards during July and August 2017 were overcharged by at least 0.18% to as much as 0.65% for different cards and time periods.

A second travel and tourism industry member, Cruisin Motorhomes’ was fined earlier this month $12,600, because they were charging customers a 2% surcharge when the cost of acceptance for Visa and MasterCard was actually in the range of 0.41% to 1.48%.

AFTA is here to assist and AFTA members should first read the information prepared by AFTA on Payment Surcharging. AFTA members are also reminded that they can submit an ACS application at any time by completing the one-page application form and submitting through the My AFTA Portal where you submit your ATAS renewal.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the AFTA team via ACS@afta.com.au