Speaking up for you

Retail Payments Bill

Updated 12 May 2022.

Ahead of the 2020 General Election, the Government committed to regulating merchant service fees. The Government has since introduced the Retail Payment System Bill which currently sits before Parliament. 

Retail NZ strongly supports the Bill and holds the view it will enable retailers to provide better customer experiences at a fair and reasonable cost. In summary, we advocated for: 

  • Lower caps on interchange fees 
  • Oversight of the payments system by the Commerce Commission, ensuring it remains fit for purpose
  • The regulation of the fees charged to retailers by Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) firms 
  • The new interchange caps should apply to foreign issued and commercial cards 
  • Prohibiting the ‘net compensation’ of card issuers triggered by a reduction in interchange fees.

Feel free to read our publicly available submission.

The Bill in its current form lowers interchange fees, inclusive of commercial cards. The Commerce Commission will be granted regulatory oversight of the payments system to maintain competition, efficiency, and transparency. Based on the final report from the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee it is unlikely BNPL firms or foreign issued cards will be regulated under the legislation. This report has also seen prohibition of ‘net compensation’ omitted from the Bill. 

Overall, this is a great result in an area Retail NZ has been campaigning on for several years. We continue to engage with the Government and Officials as the Bill progresses. You can read the Bill in its current form here, and track its progress on the Parliament website

Retail NZ will provide updates when they are available. For further information, please contact [email protected]

FAQs

This Bill has now passed into law. The requirements in this legislation will come into place in approx. mid October 2022. This means retailers should see interchange fee charges lowered to the rates outlined in the Bill in six months’ time. 

We have already seen some decrease in interchange fee rates. However, the legislation will initiate a pricing standards 6 months after the bill is enacted. This is to allow regulated parties time to make changes necessary to comply. 

This legislation will cap the amount banks can charge retailers on interchange fees for customers using credit or debit cards, and contactless payments instore. This should make a material impact on the cost’s retailers pay banks for different payment types – meaning less costs. 

The legislation caps the following interchange fee caps on these products:

  • Debit network in person contacted payment interchange fee cap – 0.0 per cent.
  • Debit network in person contactless payment interchange fee cap – 0.2 per cent or 5 cents per transaction or 1 April 2021 level if lower.
  • Debit network all other payment methods including online – 0.60 per cent or 1 April 2021 level if lower.
  • Credit Card interchange fee cap – 0.80 per cent or 1 April 2021 level if lower.

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