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February 25, 2016

Tough new laws that will protect Gippslanders from excessive credit card surcharges will take effect this year.

The new laws passed through Federal Parliament this week, reducing the cost of living for thousands of people.

Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said card and electronic payments were used for billions of transactions every year and it was crucial that consumers had confidence in the system.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be granted new powers to gather information from those involved in the payments process and the authority to issue infringement notices against those engaging in excessive surcharging.

“While many merchants pass on costs fairly, there are always some who abuse the practice and charge unfairly,” Mr Chester said.

“That’s why the Coalition Government took action to ensure customers are charged no more than the amount that reflects the true amount of the merchant’s costs in accepting that payment.

“If the ACCC forms the view that a merchant has engaged in excessive surcharging, they may issue an infringement notice including a penalty for listed corporations of up to 600 penalty units, currently $108,000, for each alleged contravention.”

Mr Chester said tougher laws were an important step in further implementing the Turnbull Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry and providing greater protection for consumers.

The ban on excessive surcharging will work in tandem with Reserve Bank of Australia Payments System Board standards that will set the permitted surcharge for payments.

Further details are available at:

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