Nine out of 13 economists quizzed on credit card surcharges in Australia believe the regulators will ban them altogether.
These fees often apply to transactions including taxi rides, budget flights, or take-away food and beverages.
The survey, conducted by finder.com.au, would come as welcome news to Australian consumers. About 94 per cent of consumers believe surcharges are a “rip off”, according to finder.com.au.
“Credit card surcharge fees for coffee purchases alone could be collectively costing Australians $110 million per year,” said a statement from the comparison site this week.
From January this year, charging a consumer to use a credit or debit card in the UK was banned.
At this stage, the UK’s regulators are grappling with how to police the ban, with fears any losses associated with scraping surcharges will be absorbed elsewhere – like in the cost of goods.
The state of play in Australia
As it stands, businesses are banned from charging excessive payment surcharges on credit, debit and pre-paid payments in Australia, and have been since 2016.
Typically, an excessive amount is one that is beyond the cost incurred by the business for processing the transaction.
This ban applies to all businesses, regardless of their size.
However, payment types that are not included in the ban include BPAY, PayPal, Diners Club and American Express cards issued directly by American Express.
You can read more about your rights as a consumer here.