By Julian Bajkowski

Rapacious gouging of consumers through excessive credit card surcharging needs to be quickly and firmly checked by regulators if new Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) rules governing the payments industry are to be successful in stamping out the practice, MasterCard’s Australian chief, Andrew Cartwright, has said.

The RBA on Thursday revealed its highly anticipated formal response to the hot button consumer issue, mandating that merchants can only pass-on actual costs of accepting card transactions when imposing surcharges, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission put in charge of sniffing out inflated fees and policing sneaky profiteers.

“This affects all Australians and MasterCard is pleased this is being addressed. It’s long overdue,” Mr Cartwright said.

However he cautioned that for the new excess surcharging bans to have a real effect, visible action against rule breakers and effective monitoring needs to be in place fast.

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This story first appeared in Government News.