The Federal Court has recognised that Eftpos Payments Australia’s (ePAL) plan to change the eftpos fee model may lead to higher debit card surcharges in store.

This comes after legal proceedings were carried out by Aldi demanding for great transparency into the new ‘multi-lateral’ interchange fee model that ePAL would introduce in October.

As a result, the court has ordered ePAL to publish a corrective advertisement in major newspapers and pay for Aldi’s legal costs.

An Aldi spokesperson said this has identified that a number of retailers will face increased charges as a result of the changes made by ePAL, depending on the retailer’s acquiring bank.

“ALDI supports changes that improve the competitiveness of EFTPOS in the market, but is very concerned about the impact of the changes and any unjustified fee increases levied by banks on retailers beyond their additional costs,” the spokesperson said.

“Coles and Woolworths will not incur these additional charges if they choose not to be part of the new fee arrangements, which they have been allowed to do.”

The result has also been welcomed by independent payments provider Tyro Payments.

“It is unfair that retailers and consumer will or may be burdened while Coles and Woolworths are not affected,” Tyro Payments CEO Jost Stollmann said.

“There is no more equal playing field, not for ALDI and not for Tyro’s small and medium merchants.

“After the Federal Court judgement, banks should reconsider the fee increase. Instead, they should keep eftpos a safe and low cost debit card solution for Australian retailers and consumers.”

ALDI will now determine what measures can be taken to ensure transparency and maintain a competitive environment.