lower merchant fees

CBA offers lower merchant fees

by Angus Jones
  • CBA puts millions back in small businesses’ pockets through lower merchant fees.
  • CBA takes the hassle out of Least Cost Routing for small businesses by automatically routing transactions.
  • CBA waives $7m in merchant fees before Christmas for businesses hardest hit by COVID.

Commonwealth Bank is making payments simpler for small businesses, announcing new competitive flat rates for all in-store and online payment transactions for eligible merchant customers*.

To lower the cost of doing business, CBA will be offering 1.1 per cent for all in-store card transactions and 1.5 per cent for online transactions, regardless of the interchange rate or the type of card (debit, credit or Amex).

CBA will also take the hassle out of payments by automatically routing transactions between eftpos and international schemes for eligible small business customers. CBA will centrally route transactions in the most cost-effective and competitive way, so businesses don’t have to spend their valuable time managing their routing options.

CBA’s Executive General Manager, Everyday Business Banking, James Fowle, said today’s announcement follows feedback from its merchant customers on Least Cost Routing (LCR) over recent months. The overwhelming message is small businesses want things simpler, easier and cheaper. 

“The overwhelming feedback from our small business customers is that they want simple competitive pricing without the hassle. They want the benefit from least cost routing without having to manage the routing themselves,” Mr Fowle said.

“Our new flat rates are designed to offer that by removing complex pricing structures and managing the routing of transactions for them. We’ll automatically and centrally route transactions in the most cost-effective and competitive way, saving businesses a lot of time and money.”

Simplifying the process, even more, this low-cost rate will become the default, and eligible small businesses will automatically receive the reduced single rate from October 2021 onwards with no need to ‘opt in’ or apply.

“We’re taking the guesswork out of it for small businesses who don’t have the time to individually assess and compare the costs associated with different schemes. The flat rates also provide our customers with an easy way to recover their costs through surcharging at a single rate,” Mr Fowle said.

To provide a further cash injection in the lead up to Christmas, CBA will automatically waive three months of merchant fees for small businesses that have been hardest hit by the latest COVID lockdowns. This equates to more than $7 million back into the pockets of merchant customers.

“From next week, we’ll be letting more than 50,000 customers know we are automatically waiving their standard merchant fees for three months from September through to November. This translates into approximately $7million back into their pockets leading up to Christmas,” said Mr Fowle.

CBA said a further $3 million has been refunded to merchants experiencing financial difficulty since the start of the pandemic. Any merchant customers experiencing financial hardship can contact CBA for a refund on various applicable fees for up to 90 days.

Today’s announcement complements the recent release of StepPay, another CBA initiative supporting Australian small businesses. While traditional Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) products charge merchants a fee of up to seven per cent, StepPay only charges merchants credit card transaction processing fees which are substantially lower than traditional BNPL products.  This puts savings back into the pockets of smaller businesses and helps to level the playing field by allowing them to better compete with those who can pay higher BNPL costs. In addition, merchants do not need to incur integration costs or face disruptions with their Point of Sale systems and Online check outs, as StepPay is processed in the same way as credit card transactions are processed today. 

As CBA has done throughout the COVID pandemic, we will continue to look for ways to support our small business customers to help them recover as lockdowns are lifted, and they open back up.

*Eligible CBA small business customers with turnover equal to or less than $250,000 will have the new simple rates automatically applied from October 2021. 

To learn more read Small Business Answers guide to EFTPOS and accepting credit cards

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