Choice to credit card providers - we are watching

CONSUMER advocate group Choice has a message for Australia's credit card providers - we are watching.

New rules devised by the Reserve Bank of Australia governing the amount credit card providers can charge in fees came into effect yesterday (Monday).

Choice said it would use the new rules to ramp up the pressure on the "worst surcharging offenders".

The group has launched an online live counter to document the time it takes Cabcharge, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger to rein in their "outrageous" credit card fees.

"Every day that these retailers ignore the Reserve Bank's rules is another day that Australians will spend millions more than they need to simply for using their credit cards," Choice head of campaigns Matt Levey said.

The new RBA rules limit credit card surcharges to the "reasonable costs" of processing the transaction, most of which is the merchant service fee.

Mr Levey said while the actual costs of processing credit cards varied between retailers and across different card types, the average merchant service fee for Mastercard and Visa was estimated at 0.86%.

"While these fees vary, they are nowhere near the likes of Cabcharge, with their shonky 10% fee, or Jetstar, with their $17 slug for a return flight," he said.


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