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Europcar fined $350,000 for excessive credit card fees

22 August 2019
erin mcleod
Read Time 2 mins reading time

The Federal Court has recently handed down a $350,000 fine to Europcar, a global car rental company, after it charged its customers excessive credit and debit card fees.

background

New laws introduced in 2016 set out that businesses cannot impose card surcharges which exceed the cost of processing card payments.

In July last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took action against Europcar, prompting the company to admit that it had imposed excessive credit and debit card fees.

Euopcar’s customers were overcharged by an average of just $1, however in total the overcharging amounted to more than $67,000 and affected more than 63,000 customers.

lessons

  •  The decision highlights that businesses bear the onus of ensuring their credit and debit card surcharges are proportionate to the cost of processing card payments.
  • A failure to comply with surcharge laws can result in significant penalties, even where  the individual overcharge amount is low.
  • Businesses must take proactive steps to understand surcharge laws and ensure that they charge their customers the correct credit and debit card fees.

If you would like further information in relation to card surcharge limits, or if you required tailored and practical assistance ensuring your business is compliant, please contact our Commercial – Intellectual Property and Trade team.

This article was written by Erin McLeod – Law Graduate, Commercial.

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Europcar fined $350,000 for excessive credit card fees

22 August 2019
erin mcleod

The Federal Court has recently handed down a $350,000 fine to Europcar, a global car rental company, after it charged its customers excessive credit and debit card fees.

background

New laws introduced in 2016 set out that businesses cannot impose card surcharges which exceed the cost of processing card payments.

In July last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took action against Europcar, prompting the company to admit that it had imposed excessive credit and debit card fees.

Euopcar’s customers were overcharged by an average of just $1, however in total the overcharging amounted to more than $67,000 and affected more than 63,000 customers.

lessons

  •  The decision highlights that businesses bear the onus of ensuring their credit and debit card surcharges are proportionate to the cost of processing card payments.
  • A failure to comply with surcharge laws can result in significant penalties, even where  the individual overcharge amount is low.
  • Businesses must take proactive steps to understand surcharge laws and ensure that they charge their customers the correct credit and debit card fees.

If you would like further information in relation to card surcharge limits, or if you required tailored and practical assistance ensuring your business is compliant, please contact our Commercial – Intellectual Property and Trade team.

This article was written by Erin McLeod – Law Graduate, Commercial.