By Aimee Chanthadavong

As retailers continue to struggle in a cautious spending environment, they may soon be slammed with higher eftpos fees

The organisation behind Australia’s eftpos payment system, Eftpos Australia Payments (EPAL) has confirmed it is currently in talks with banks, retailers and other industry participants ahead of changes to interchange fees linked to eftpos.

EPAL managing director Bruce Mansfield told RetailBiz that a decision has not been reached on a new interchange fee model.

“Eftpos interchange fees are one of a number of inputs into the Acquirer's pricing to merchants and clearly any changes to interchange fees will be considered in their pricing models,” he said.

“The consultation process is still underway and no decision has been made on actual rates and implementation dates.  When made, we will communicate these changes and provide adequate time for Acquirers to implement them with their customers.”

According to Mansfield, the interchange fees will support EPAL’s “investment in the accessibility, security, convenience and efficiency of eftpos”.

Based on unaudited figures released by EPAL, eftpos is the most widely used point-of-sale debit payment network in Australia.

The network processed more than one billion transactions in the December half, representing approximately $65 billion. In December 2010, eftpos processed more than $12.5 billion in payments and over 200 million transactions.