Aldi has demanded for greater transparency in the new multi-lateral interchange fee model for eftpos transactions being introduced on 1 October 2011.

As a result, Aldi has initiated legal proceedings in the Federal Court.

The changes are being introduced by ePAL, a joint venture company owned by Australia’s major banks, Coles, Woolworths and other financial institutions.

According to Aldi, under the new model the new interchange fee model is changing the way fees are paid between those who collect the money in an EFTPOS transaction (Acquirers) and those who issue the EFTPOS card used in the transaction (Issuer). Formerly, the Issuer paid the Acquirer five cents ($0.05) per transaction for purchases that did not involve cash-out. Under the new model, for non-charity transactions above $15 dollars with no cash-out involved, the Acquirer will pay the Issuer five cents per transaction and an additional one cent fee to ePAL.

This will mean that the 5 cent fee will be charged to the retailer’s financial institution for every transaction over $15, except at Coles and Woolworths. And it will also mean that as there are over five million eftpos transactions made per day across Australia, the new fees levied on retailers and merchants could lead to the banking industry reaping substantial additional revenue each year.

"ALDI supports changes to the interchange fee model that improves the competitiveness of EFTPOS in the market, but is very concerned about the transparency of the changes and potentially unjustified fee increases levied by the banks on retailers beyond their additional costs,” Tom Daunt, Aldi group managing director, said.