COSBOA summit aims to make payments fairer for small businesses

  • By Zilla Efrat

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) is holding an online payments summit on Wednesday to explore how Australia’s payments system can be made fairer for small businesses.

It notes that the way Australians make payments is changing rapidly and that small businesses often pay the price for evolving technology through higher merchant fees.

The summit will bring together payment experts and small business leaders to discuss the current payments climate, the impact of recent government reviews and what needs to change to enable small merchants to compete effectively against the large retailers, who have the buying power to negotiate fees.

The list of speakers includes COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson, Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association CEO Mark McKenzie and Payments Consulting Network managing director Mangala Martinus.

Over the past year, Martinus has helped 100 retailers save more than $3 million in bank fees through initiatives such as routing debit transactions through the cheapest payment network (least cost routing).

“It is unfair that most retailers are paying more than they should because most businesses have been set up to automatically process multi-network contactless debit card payments across the Visa and Mastercard networks,” he says.

“These are in many cases more expensive than the cheaper Australian eftpos network. Least cost routing should be mandated as a default for every debit payment, be it in-store, online or via mobile. Without question, more needs to be done to support small businesses lower the cost of accepting payments.”