Coles/ANZ deal raises hopes for lower fees

There are more positive signs for banking competition and lower credit card fees with the announcement of a deal between Coles Myer and ANZ for direct clearing of credit card transactions.

Rather than use the centralised payments system run by the major banks, ANZ will directly clear all transactions made at Coles Myer outlets, a move Coles hopes will lower its merchant fees and lead to similar deals with other card issuers.

The deal is likely to be welcomed by the ACCC and the Reserve Bank which are seeking to reduce interchange fees between banks within the centralised payments system.

The two are looking to decentralise the payments system, opening it up to competition and the Coles/ANZ deal is a step down that path. However, it remains to be seen just how much in interchange and clearing fee savings will be passed on to consumers in lower card costs.