Credit card surcharges roll out in Australia – is your business safe?

September 21, 2017

We wrote recently about the changes to surcharges in the EU and how important it is for businesses in the UK to be aware of the financial hit they may take when they’re no longer able to pass card processing fees onto customers.

The new law will come into effect from January 2018 in the UK. The ban on credit card surcharges has been widely heralded as a victory for consumers, with shoppers paying £473 million on surcharges alone in 2010, according to estimates from the Treasury.

Business aren’t happy, though, at having to pay for that fee for themselves which will hit them in the pocket. There are other unwelcome surprises for them too; though they have a few months to prepare for the changes to credit card surcharges, a law has recently been passed in Australia that rules the payments out with immediate effect.

Know the international landscape for credit card surcharges

Businesses in Australia were banned from issuing surcharges from the start of September. Again, while it’s been widely seen as a victory for consumers, a lot of small businesses are worried that they won’t be able to meet the fees and will go out of business as a result.

Larger businesses in Australia also have cause for concern as well. Surcharges can be pretty expensive business depending on the card used, with American Express transactions carrying fees between 2-3%. If an ASX-listed company is in breach of the rules, they could be fined as much as $120,000. The most serious breaches could also incur fines of up to $1.3 million.

Why mention Australia when businesses across the UK have their own surcharge problems to worry about? Because this is big news for companies that trade globally, especially larger ones. If you’re an online retailer whose reach stretches across continents to areas like Australia, you need to comply with their new legislative changes surrounding surcharges, and fast.

Not just in Australia. Territories across the globe will likely fast follow suit. If you exist internationally as a business or are looking to grow to compete on that stage, you need to be compliant in financial laws abroad, whether that relates to a credit surcharge or other issues of compliance.

How Fibonatix can improve your global compliance

Fibonatix is an experienced global payment provider vastly experienced in helping businesses of all shapes and sizes better manage the complexities of financial compliance, taking the weight from their shoulders to allow senior managers and CEOs to better focus on their jobs, growing the business, building relationships with clients and more.

International compliance and financial regulations can be tricky to approach, especially for those with a global online presence that looks to capture the attention of foreign audiences and provide them with a service.

Fibonatix is able to work closely with businesses to assess and streamline their internal and external financial solutions to boost overall growth and make sure they’re compliant with the regulatory lay of the land, no matter what country you’re looking to operate in, providing 24-hour support and a team that cares as much about your growth as you do.

A culture of chargebacks and ‘friendly fraud’ is hitting businesses of all shapes and sizes. How can companies adapt to an evolving consumer chargeback philosophy, protect their profits and keep markets happy at the same time? Read ‘What is friendly fraud and how do chargebacks work?’ to learn more.