1 September 2017, the Reserve Bank of Australia's new rules of surcharge became enforceable by the ACCC for all Australian businesses.
The updated legislation on the new rules of surcharge is available at this link.
The key items to understand from the new rules are:
Merchants can only pass on the cost of card acceptance
Merchants cannot charge more for a transaction that what they pay
At SimpleRent.com.au each of the Agencies using SimpleRent, enter into an agreement with our Australia Merchant Services provider IntegraPay.com.au one of Australia's leading payment gateways that are still wholly Australian owned.
SimpleRent works with the Real Estate Agency and IntegraPay to ensure that:
"ONLY the exact match cost of acceptance is passed onto the tenant to keep compliant with the RBA & ACCC."
The default rate for Visa / Mastercard Debit or Credit has recently dropped from 2.42% to 1.98% including GST across RealTime and Recurring transactions.
In the media, we are likely to read or hear a message that the cost of Visa MasterCard Debit transactions "may" cost a business "around" 0.5-1 % (ex GST) of the transaction and Credit Cards "usually" higher 1-1.5% (exGST). NOTE these indicative rates are not published to include GST
The ACC goes on further to educate that "smaller merchant's cost might be higher than these indicative figures." At SimpleRent, our parent entity The E Group Payments specialises in compliant surcharge systems. In fact, that is all we do, design and create surcharge compliant systems online and via eftpos terminals.
We can confirm that the indicative rates published by the ACCC are much higher for smaller merchants for the cost of card acceptance.
It is important to note that the of acceptance includes more than just the card fees, it includes:
Merchant Service Fees
Scheme costs / Interchange fees
Payment processing equipment costs
Fraud prevention costs
For more details, see Section 5 Cost of Acceptance PAYMENT SYSTEMS (REGULATION) ACT 7998 STANDARD NO. 3 OF 201.6 SCHEME RULES RELAT|NG TO MERCHANT PRICING FOR CREDIT DEBIT AND PREPAID CARD TRANSACTIONS
It should also be noted that card transactions conducted online are processed in what is known as a "Card not present" environment. This means the card is not viewed by the Merchant and does not under go the additional security step of chip and pin verification. As a result, this sees a higher interchange and fraud prevention cost associated to the transactions.
In Summary, all merchants using SimpleRent only pass on the exact match cost they are charged under their contract. Tenants will not be charge more than the cost of card acceptance.
If you are a tenant and wish to achieve the most economical transaction rate, we recommend paying via Bank Account Direct Debit using the Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS).
Finally, if you are a Visa or MasterCard Debit Card holder, did you know that you have a bank account connected to this card? This is the bank account you may elect to use when setting up payments via Direct Debit to access the lowest cost of acceptance for you.