Survey confirms retailers stance on unregulated credit card systems

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said retailers were calling for all credit card systems to be regulated in the same way, as outlined in the David Murray Financial Services Inquiry (FSI) submission and further confirmed by the latest Ipsos survey.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said 94 percent of all businesses surveyed said credit card systems should be regulated in the same way.

“This overwhelming response confirms what retailers were telling us as part of our David Murray FSI submission.

“In the final report to government, the FSI report confirmed there was a need to bring all card systems under the same rules and regulations as the two big card systems.

“The ARA will be writing to the new Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as part of the FSI process and is meeting with him today to reinforce retailers’ position on this issue – that the excessive merchant fees charged by card schemes such as Amex and Diners Club need to be addressed so retailers can reduce or remove surcharging as with the two big card systems.

“The truth is there is a distortion in the marketplace by not regulating Amex and Diners Club cards, and with 55 percent and 23 percent market reach respectively, retailers feel they need to accept these cards because of promotional schemes and to ease transactions for consumers.

“Because of this skew retailers either have to absorb the excessive merchant cost or pass on a surcharge to consumers, when they don’t in most circumstances if they use the regulated MasterCard or Visa schemes.

“It is time to address this imbalance and create a level playing field for all payment systems,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.                                                   

-ends-  For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call the ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556 or E: media@retail.org.au

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