The Turnbull Government’s tough new laws to protect consumers from excessive card surcharging have passed Parliament.
Federal Member for Forde, Bert van Manen MP said the Government’s Competition and Consumer Amendment (Payment Surcharges) Bill 2015 passed the Senate on Monday (February 22) and would come into effect this year.
“While many merchants do pass on costs fairly, some abuse the system and consumers in my electorate of Forde are entitled to a fair deal,” Mr van Manen said.
“That’s why the Turnbull Government took action to ensure customers are charged no more than the amount that reflects the merchant’s costs in accepting that payment.”
Mr van Manen said the new laws would equip the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) with new powers to enforce the ban and the authority to issue infringement notices against those engaged in excessive surcharging.
“If merchants engage in excessive surcharging, the ACCC may issue an infringement notice including a penalty for listed corporations of up to 600 penalty units, currently $108,000 for each allege contravention.
“This will provide greater protection for consumers.”
The ban on excessive surcharging will work in tandem with Reserve Bank of Australia Payments System Board standards that will set the permitted surcharge for payments.
Further details are available at: www.rba.gov.au
The scheduled commencement for the ban will allow for the RBA consultation process to take place while providing a reasonable period for merchants to prepare for the new arrangements.