Surcharge for Debit or Credit Cards? Why?!

With the world becoming increasingly automated and payments online becoming the norm, the option to pay bills without the use of a credit card or a debit card is becoming harder and harder. At least, if you want to maintain control over exactly when your bills are being paid out of your account.

Sure, you can set up direct deposits, if you know you’ll always have the right amount of money in your account when the company decides to ask for it. With so many more people living hand to mouth these days, that is becoming harder for some people. Also, given that some of the charges for keeping a credit card are increasing, having one of those and then having your salary paid into that account is harder as well. It seems, at least amongst younger people, that a debit card and a savings accounts are the only mean of paying bills that they have.

Why then do some companies still insist on having a surcharge on payments made via credit card or debit card?! Is it really that much more work for them to process the payment? Do they get charged for such payments at their end? How can they justify these extra charges?

I tried to find the Australian charges for retailers on credit card and debit card payments and came up with nothing. Which is unfortunate, because I think consumers would really like to know what is involved in a retailer accepting such payments. I know I for one would like to know whether an online business is screwing me over. If they only get charged x percentage of the transaction to accommodate that method of payment, why are they charging me three or four times that amount? I think everyone would benefit from a more transparent economic system… Well, except the major banks and credit companies… But surely they get enough as it is?

Oh dear, I think my “socialist” roots re showing again, better go and cover up that red.

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