Nation’s major banks fail to repeat 2020 exemption from contactless debit fees for business customers

Big banks may have removed fees for business customers on contactless debit transactions last year as New Zealand battled Covid-19, but there has been no repeat since the return to a level 4 lockdown this year.

Interest.co.nz asked the Big Five banks this week if they plan to remove contactless transaction fees for business customers again, or even any other fees, like they did last year.

An ANZ spokeswoman said the country’s largest bank is currently reviewing the support it provides to professional clients below Alert Level 3.

“I’ll let you know if anything changes about this.”

A BNZ spokesperson said a series of measures to support businesses include the removal of Payclip fees until September 30, temporary overdraft facilities, extension of trade credit, asset financing, fast online loans of up to $ 100,000 with QuickBiz, modification of term loan periods, interest-only options on a case-by-case basis, as well as “Good to Grow” loans.

“[But] At this point, we have not removed the contactless fee, but continue to monitor the situation, “BNZ spokesperson said.

A Kiwibank spokeswoman said removing contactless payment fees was “something our team is considering.”

A Westpac spokesperson said the bank is supporting business customers with a range of relief options that may include temporary overdrafts, suspension of principal loan payments and deferred payments on business credit cards.

“We have removed the minimum monthly merchant service charge for small businesses for the months of September and October. We have also reduced fees on contactless credit and debit payments since the Level 4 lockdown last year, so we do not plan to apply waivers at this time, “the spokesperson said. from Westpac.

ASB has not yet responded to requests for comment.

The limit for contactless card payments has been increased from $ 80 to $ 200 in April 2020, which remained in place.

As stated previously, the decision by banks to waive fees on contactless Visa and Mastercard debit card transactions for business customers last year has served banks well. Banks earn money from customers using Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards and are encouraged to expand this business. The EFTPOS system, which consists of inserting cards into payment terminals and entering a PIN code on a keypad, does not charge merchants per transaction fees.

The charts below taken from Payments NZ’s 2020 NZ Payments Statistics report show a sharp increase in contactless transactions and contactless payment terminals. There has been a 62% increase in contactless transactions since 2018, according to Payments NZ. Meanwhile, the government is is preparing to regulate service charges to merchants.

* You can also see Gareth Vaughan’s 2020 five-part series on Retail Payment Fees via the links below.

https://www.interest.co.nz/news/103634/first-part-series-nzs-retail-payments-system-gareth-vaughan-details-scale-key-players

https://www.interest.co.nz/news/104131/second-part-series-nzs-retail-payment-systems-gareth-vaughan-looks-how-new-zealands

https://www.interest.co.nz/business/104149/third-part-series-nzs-retail-payment-systems-gareth-vaughan-looks-complications

https://www.interest.co.nz/business/104343/fourth-part-series-nzs-retail-payment-systemsgareth-vaughan-looks-eftpos-and-covid

https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/104467/fifth-and-final-part-series-new-zealands-retail-payment-systems-gareth-vaughan-lays

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