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FINANCE—CREDIT CARD SURCHARGE

Senator Milne amended general business notice of motion no. 104 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the Senate—

 (a) notes the report by CHOICE, Credit card surcharging in Australia, commissioned by the New South Wales Office of Fair Trading, and its findings that:

  (i) there has been a significant increase in the rate of merchants charging credit card transaction fees with 20 per cent of small merchants and 40 per cent of very large merchants now imposing surcharges on their customers,

  (ii) 88 per cent of the respondents to the CHOICE survey reported paying a credit card surcharge in the previous year, and

  (iii) there is evidence that there are retailers who charge far in excess of the merchant service fees they are required to pay to the credit card companies; and

 (b) calls on the Government to investigate, with consumer and industry bodies such as CHOICE, whether merchant service fees are being adequately disclosed and consumers are being protected from credit card profiteering.

Question put and passed.