Australia’s Fairer Merchant Fees Alliance welcomes Westpac’s move to introduce Least Cost Routing for its small business customers.
The Fairer Merchant Fees Alliance, comprising four of Australia’s leading retail industry associations, says the Westpac initiative shows leadership.
Processing contactless debit card payments over the eftpos network for thousands of its merchant customers will create significant fee savings.
Specifically, it gives merchants the ability to route contactless debit card payments through the network with the lowest fees.
This is especially important as the current system often forces merchants into higher fee networks. This costs the economy over A$550m ($398m) a year.
The heads of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA), the Australian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA), and Master Grocers Australia (MGA) are united in viewing the move as a breakthrough after several years of discussion and policy support from Government.
Least Cost Routing: doing the right thing
“Westpac is doing the right thing for its small business customers, many of whom are reeling. They have shown a real commitment in getting this over the line. And the leadership to be the first of Australia’s large banks to make the move. Many retailers will be very grateful,” says ARA CEO Paul Zahra.
COSBOA CEO Peter Strong says that small businesses, especially in Victoria, needed every dollar of cost savings they could get. “Small businesses around Australia, and especially in Victoria where there is so much economic hardship right now, will appreciate Westpac’s implementation of Least Cost Routing, and for reaching out to educate them on the available savings. In a complex area, it’s great to see a major bank practice transparency and openness.”
ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie explains that Westpac’s decision could make a real difference to struggling businesses. “Sometimes it’s hard for a big business to understand what a small business has to go through just to survive. Many of our members could benefit from this, and we know they will be grateful for the support.”
The FMFA members will continue to encourage the other big banks to implement Least Cost Routing. This is in line with their ongoing commitment to support the small business community.