Following ACCC proceedings, the Federal Court has ordered Europcar to pay $350,000 in penalties for breaching the ban on excessive credit and debit card payment surcharges.
The amount of each excessive surcharge was relatively small, at an average of just over $1 per customer, but since there were thousands of consumer transactions, this number quickly added up.
You are reminded that businesses can only pass on to customers what it costs them to process a credit or debit card payment (known as the 'cost of acceptance').
Potential penalties and infringement notices:
- $126,000 for a listed corporation
- $12,600 for a body corporate
- $2,520 for a person other than a body corporate
- $1,358,910 for a body corporate
- $271,950 for a person other than a body corporate
Court action resulting in pecuniary penalties:
ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said, “This decision is a warning to businesses that choose to impose surcharges. The onus is on them to get it right. A failure to comply with these laws may result in significant penalties.”