Australia’s four major banks and Woolworths and Coles will be the only beneficiaries if new regulations of the eftpos payment system are allowed, Tyro Payments warned.

The independent eftpos provider said under the proposal the major banks and retailers will be allowed to negotiate special deals that will benefit only themselves, while having the option to charge small and medium sized retailers at higher fees to use the eftpos network.

The reason for this freedom is because the banks and the supermarket giants are the owners in eftpos Payment Australia (ePAL).

Tyro CEO Jost Stollmann said the proposal could lead to higher prices for not only retailers but consumers alike.

“Australia needs more competition, not less,” he said.

“Imagine what could be possible in Australia if creativity could be unleashed and investment encouraged through an open market offering access and a level playing field.

“But these proposals have the potential to line the pockets of the major banks, while disadvantaging everyone else.”

Banks generated an estimated $3.1 billion in fees last year from the $436 billion spent on credit and debit cards.

The proposals come as Australia’s retail sector is struggling to cope with online competitors.

Tyro Payments raised its concerns in a submission to the Reserve Bank of Australia, in response to the RBA’s paper on EFTPOS charges released on 12 June 2012.