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Credit Card surcharging and announcement of the contribution rate for AICS.

August 30, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

The new Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) card surcharging rules will come into effect on 1 September 2017.http://www.lagunaphuket.com/events/event.php?event=3

What does this mean for Australian Travel agencies?

Businesses are no longer allowed to blend their surcharge across card schemes (MasterCard, Visa and American Express) to establish an average surcharge for all credit cards. AFTA has created the attached factsheet which provides a comprehensive overview with examples of how a business can establish a compliant payment surcharge. Further information can be found on the AFTA website

What if you have other costs that you may legitimately include in your surcharge?

The new regulations allow for five costs to be included in your payment surcharge. The five categories are:

1)    Bank fees – eg: The fee that the bank charges to accept payments by credit and debit cards. Your travel agency is charged different rates for each card Scheme (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) as well as for credit and debit transactions. You are permitted to charge different surcharge rates for each card scheme and this is detailed in the factsheet using examples.

2)    Terminal rental and servicing – eg: The fee the bank charges to rent the merchant facility (both physical and online) and to maintain this service.

3)    Gateway fees – eg: Fees for international services, switching (system that transfers money) and cross border transactions.

4)    Fraud prevention– eg: The costs associated with managing the risk and occurrences of fraud.

5)    Insurance for Forward Delivery Risk (supplier failure chargeback) ­ – businesses can include the cost of utilising an insurance product such as the AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS).

What about AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS)?

AFTA is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS) which will support travel agents and address the risk of chargeback when suppliers fail.

In the last year we have had two instances where ATAS travel agencies have experienced loss from chargebacks from clients because either a supplier or wholesaler has become insolvent. In these instances, if an ATAS travel agent was a member of AICS they would be able to claim their chargeback loss on AICS and not be out of pocket.

AFTA is announcing today that the 2017 AICS contribution rate will be 0.25% which will be applied by AICS payment partners in addition to their merchant service fees.

The Scheme will commence coverage on 1 September for those travel agents that have applied to AICS and have been accepted by one of our payment partners.

We encourage all ATAS Accredited members to apply for the Scheme today via http://aics.org.au/join/

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