Retailers fear banks won’t cut merchant fees

The Australian Retailers' Association fears that banks will not reduce the merchant service fees which are charged to provide card terminals. The fees were expected to drop in line with the 40 per cent minimum fall in interchange fees from November 1. The ARA believes banks will not pass on the savings with some banks saying they would offer more value-added services rather than dropping fees. It hopes banks will negotiate “fairly” with their merchants and lower the service fees. If so, the consumer can also “expect to benefit as well”. A reduction in merchant service fees is a key part of the reforms to interchange fees. Currently, the customer who does not use cards is paying more for goods and services and subsidising those who use credit.