BNZ, Kiwibank and ANZ levy fees for contactless payment for SMEs. Photo / Supplied
BNZ, Kiwibank and ANZ have waived contactless transaction fees – pay-wave – to qualifying small and medium businesses at least until the end of the month.
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) director for customers, products and services Dan Huggins said the move would help reduce uncertainty.
“The elimination of contactless fees will support our small and medium-sized business customers as the country moves towards more contactless operations and will help reduce uncertainty at this critical time.
“The fee waiver will automatically occur for SMB clients with monthly sales of less than $ 50,000 and will continue until the end of October.
“We want to give our customers as much certainty as possible and we are working hard to provide New Zealanders with the help they need,” Huggins said.
The bank was also waiving Payclip fees providing temporary overdrafts, extending trade credit, asset financing, and providing fast online loans up to $ 100,000.
A Kiwibank spokesperson said the contactless fee waiver will be backdated to the first day of the Level 4 lockdown on August 18 and will apply until October 31.
“Existing merchant customers who have enabled contactless will see a discount shortly after their merchant service fees have been billed.
“Merchant customers who wish to activate contactless should contact Kiwibank,” the spokesperson said.
In May, The Herald announced that the government needed to crack down on the fees banks charge businesses when people pay by credit or debit card.
Trade Minister David Clark said service charges to traders in New Zealand were unregulated and much higher than in Australia, adding significant overheads to retailers who often passed on costs on consumers through higher prices.
“Reducing the merchant service fees charged to New Zealand businesses is a priority for this government and essential to the recovery of the economy.”
Interchange fees are a major component of merchant fees, which is the fees paid between banks to accept the card transaction.
Clark said he would cap the interchange fee at 0.8% for credit card payments – according to Australia – and the interchange fee for online debit card transactions at 0.6 %.
Contactless debit card interchange fees will remain at 0.2% or less and swipe and insert debit card fees will remain at zero.
A 2018 study by Retail New Zealand found that average merchant fees in New Zealand were 1.6% of the value of a credit card transaction – double the 0.8% charged in Australia. where they are regulated.
For contactless debit cards, fees were on average 1.2% in New Zealand and 0.6% in Australia – where Paywave is almost the norm.
ANZ Bank also phased out contactless debit payments for September.
ANZ New Zealand’s chief executive officer for business banking, Lorraine Mapu, said the waiver would be reviewed on a monthly basis, “taking into account customer needs and government emergency requirements.”
Other short-term reliefs announced by ANZ included temporary overdrafts, waivers of loan restructuring charges, and options for customers to extend loan terms or move term loans to interest only in order to reduce costs. non-essential financial expenses for businesses.