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On-charging merchant surcharges to your clients – new rules!

If you use your bank’s credit and debit card merchant facilities to accept payment from your clients and you on-charge the bank’s fees for use of these facilities, you need to take note of this blog!

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has published a standard which says:

You CANNOT put a markup on these fees when on-charging them to clients. You can only on-charge the actual cost which has been imposed on you by your bank i.e. the same amount.

There is actually a lot more to it and if you’re interested, you can read about it all here on the ACCC website.

So that you will know what these exact costs are, the RBA has directed banks to provide you with statements outlining their fees. You will be required to use these statements as the basis for on-charging the fees to clients – you must not guess or charge another type of fee – it must be the same as charged to you from your bank.

These changes will occur in two stages:

If your business has a gross revenue of $25M OR is employing at least 50 employees, you must apply the changes from 1st September 2016.

For everyone else (most of us), the changes will apply from 1st September 2017. So basically you have plenty of time to get ready. Use this time to discuss the changes with staff and prepare to update your systems and procedures. The important thing is not to forget about this as the ACCC will be watching small businesses to make sure they don’t do the wrong thing when the time comes.

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