New survey finds Australians support small businesses over debit card fees

New research shows Australian consumers are overwhelmingly supportive of small businesses being able to choose the cheapest option to process debit card payments through Least Cost Routing (LCR).

Eftpos CEO Stephen Benton said: “The new survey found that 83% of respondents now believe it is important for merchants to be able to select the cheapest network, a figure which highlights the Growing public awareness and concerns about business costs in the COVID environment.

“The new research shows Australians clearly recognize and identify with the pressures small businesses face and the importance of keeping costs low.”

The cost of debit card fees is now critical for small businesses as they have replaced cash as by far the most common payment method in Australia, accounting for nearly $ 9 billion and nearly 70% of total retail electronic transactions every year.

The new research shows an eight point increase from the previous survey three years ago, a leap that shows consumer support for Least Cost Routing (LCR) has risen on the agenda of daily shoppers and has gained ground. their broad support.

It also suggests that consumers increasingly understand the potential economic benefits to be derived from CRL, with 45% of consumers saying merchants were likely to pass the fee savings on to their customers, up 12 points since the last survey. .

Publicly backed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as a key competitive mechanism to help level the playing field between small businesses and their larger counterparts with more market power, the LCR allows merchants to decide which payment transactions through debit card “rails” should be executed according to the lowest cost.

Mr Benton said research has also shown that when asked which payment network Australians would prefer to process their transactions online or by debit card, 66% of consumers have no network preferences or would prefer to use the low cost Australian network eftpos, rather than international programs.

Of those who named a network preference, eftpos was the 28% preference, with Visa and Mastercard only being preferred by 20% and 15% respectively.

The vast majority of cardholders (91%) believe that processing merchants through the eftpos network would not negatively impact their online or in-store payment experience.

The research findings echo the continued public support expressed through a online petition on Least Cost Routing, which has now been signed on by over 15,000 people.

The petition is supported by a leading group of influential industry organizations, including the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA); Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS); Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI); Australian Lotteries and News Dealers Association (ALNA); Australian Council of Small Business Organizations (COSBOA); Australian Franchise Council (FCA); Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB); Independent retailers MGA / Association of timber merchants (TMA); National Retail Trade Association (NRA); and the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association of Australia (R&CA).

COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said she was delighted to see growing public support for the need for small businesses to cut costs.

“People know that small businesses are under intense pressure right now, and Australians clearly have a preference for merchants to choose their own fate when it comes to debit card fees – whether in stores, on mobile or online, ”Ms. Boyd said.

About eftpos

eftpos is Australia’s debit card system, processing over 2 billion debit card transactions in 2020 with an average value of over $ 300 million each day.

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization / authors and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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