The supermarket chain Aldi this week has been warned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) over its lack of in-store disclosure on credit card surcharges, as well as tap-and-go payment surcharges.
Aldi charges its customers a 0.5 per cent surcharge for paying by credit card and an ASIC inspection of a select number of stores found that two stores didn’t display this information to the customer. What was most troubling was that there was no signage in any inspected Aldi store alerting its customers that the use of tap-and-go payments via debit or credit card would also attract the 0.5 per cent surcharge.
“Merchants need to be transparent about fees and charges where credit card surcharges apply so that consumers can consider using other payment methods without any additional costs. For example, at Aldi stores, payment by EFTPOS by selecting the ‘savings’ or ‘cheque’ option does not attract a surcharge.’’ Said ASIC Deputy chairman Peter Kell.
Read more from SMH.com.au.
The introduction of tap-and-go payment facilities into retail stores over the past few years has certainly made the process of paying for items simpler and quicker, but at what cost?
These tap-and-go facilities have already raised concerns over the high allowable tap-and-go limits, which could see stolen cards exploited by criminals. July 2014 statistics released by the Victorian Police showed crime rates had increased by five per cent and tap-and-go crimes were one of the major factors.
Now, customers are faced with the concern that they may be paying a surcharge at some retailers on a debit payment via tap-and-go, a payment which attracts no surcharge via swiping. The use of tap-and-go technology is only increasing with several major banks releasing recent updates to their Android apps. These updates now allow for card information to be stored on the smartphone apps and used at tap-and-go facilities to pay for products.
Have you asked your bank to provide your new debit card without tap-and-go facilities? Are you now going to stop using tap-and-go knowing that some retailers are charging you more? Should Aldi be forced to pay back the fees it has taken from customers to-date?