So it turns out using ‘tap & go’ payment methods like payPass or payWave isn’t a free service. As ABC News points out, it can actually be quite expensive for businesses, which could end up coming out of your pocket.

If you’re like me, you probably had no idea that there was a cost associated with these processes, let alone that it could come back to you, which is something deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Dr Michael Schaper acknowledges.

“Many people don’t realise that when you use payWave it is processed through the credit card system and for most businesses there is a fee they’re charged through their bank or their card operator,” he told the ABC.

And if businesses do try to tack that extra charge onto your bill, it’s perfectly legal. It’s the same way they’d charge you one or two percent for using a credit card because a tap and go transaction is actually processed under the same credit system by default.

According to Dr Schaper, businesses could be absorbing these fees but passing them onto the customer in different ways, like tacking on an extra cost across the board.

“If you’re buying a cup of coffee [for] $3.50 and you’re getting charged another nine or 10 cents for a fee, that might be one way,” he told the ABC. “The next shop down the road might be charging $3.60 and they don’t really bother about trying to work [fees] out because they’ve covered it effectively through their basic costs.”

The Australian Retailers Association reckons these extra costs are slugging businesses a combined $500 million a year. The good thing is, if they wanna pass this cost onto the customer, they must let them know and they can’t charge more than the cost of the fee.

Dr Schaper says if they’re charging you a flat fee, it’s probably too much. “Almost all of us have seen retailers say if you want to use eftpos, credit card or debit there’s an extra 20, 30 or 50-cent charge,” he said. “In many cases it’s actually an overstatement, so they run a bit of a risk there.”

As for what you can do about it, the answer is not bloody much. If you don’t wanna pay the extra, you’ll just have to swipe or insert your card and enter a PIN like the old days. The most important thing is that you know how much you should be paying to avoid getting ripped off.

Source: ABC News
Image: Happy Gilmore