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Majority Of Retailers Are Not Surcharging For Credit Cards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 1 NZPA - A majority of retailers are not surcharging people using their Mastercard or Visa cards, according to the Newmarket Business Association.

Retailers can surcharge customers who pay by Mastercard or Visa after a settlement last year with the New Zealand Commerce Commission. Last month it was reported that some BP petrol stations and some government agencies were among those who had started surcharging. The commission, which regulates fair trading as well as competition, said it was keeping an eye on the size of the surcharges.

"The likes of some petrol stations are adding a surcharge for major petrol purchase but for almost every other retailer it's a bit of a Mexican stand-off at the moment," said Cameron Brewer, chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association.

"Given it's such a sensitive consumer market out there, you'd have to be a brave retailer to start bumping up the price of purchases for the majority of credit card users," he said.

Mr Brewer said surcharges would probably be more commonplace in the future.

"However, given that New Zealand retail is just getting back on its feet, no one's wanting to scare the horses just yet."

Retailers were playing it safe, seeing what their competitors were doing, monitoring any surcharges backlashes, and probably waiting until the economy was back in full swing, before they even contemplated introducing a surcharge.

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