The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has imposed a ban on excessive surcharges on debit and credit card payments by large retailers.

The new Competition and Consumer Amendment (Payment Surcharges) Act 2016 will be effective from 1 September 2016, which restricts excessive surcharging on card payments.

The regulation will be enforceable on all Aussie retailers from 1 September 2017.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “The new law limits the amount a large business can charge customers for use of payment methods such as most credit and debit cards. Businesses can only pass on the permitted costs of the payment method such as bank fees and terminal costs.

“The new law has caused many large businesses to review their pricing practices. We expect to see a move from flat-fee surcharges for purchasing items like flights, towards percentage-based or capped surcharges.

“The ACCC is aware that some event ticketing companies are intending to change their pricing practices from 1 September such that consumers will no longer be charged fees based on the payment method chosen.”

During the first year, the law only applies to large businesses, which have gross revenue in excess of $25m or more, gross assets worth $12.5m or more, or with 50 or more staff.

The ACCC has requested consumers to contact through its website if they have been charged an excessive surcharge.