Retailers Group and MasterCard reach settlement
5 October, 2009
A settlement has been reached between the Retailers Group made up of Progressive, Foodstuffs, Dick Smith, Farmers, Mississippi, Noel Leeming and Whitcoulls and MasterCard on the Retailer Group’s lawsuit over Interchange fees payable on credit card transactions and Scheme Rules, the spokesperson for the Retail Group, Louise Evans announced.
“After spending the last three years preparing to go to court, we’re pleased to have a satisfactory result and be able to get back to our businesses,” Ms Evans said.
The settlement follows similar ones between the Commerce Commission and MasterCard and Visa. These settlements are a significant development for the retail industry and will allow negotiations around interchange fees between individual retailers and issuers, and steering at point of sale.
The settlement also reaffirms retailers’ ability to pass on the cost of accepting credit card payments through a reasonable surcharge as provided in MasterCard's settlement with the Commerce Commission. Previously retailers had been prevented from doing this.
“This new level of transparency means that for the first time the actual cost of using a credit card will be known to consumers. This may ultimately result in customers choosing to use different payment options. It is this development which may have the greatest impact for customers.”
“The settlement is appropriate at this point in time and we’re pleased that it will deliver a real and tangible outcome,” Ms Evans said.