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  • 24th April , 2023

    New card transaction fees

    Merchant fees are costing the Co-op up to $16,000 every year.

    So, from Monday May 8th, in order to recoup some of these costs, we will be adding a surcharge to all EFTPOS card transactions rather than increasing prices for everyone regardless of how they pay.

    Paying by cash will not incur a charge.

    How will new card transaction fees be calculated?

    Depending on which type of card you use at the checkout, either credit or debit card, the transaction fee will be automatically calculated and added to your purchase at the end of your card transaction.

    The average card surcharge is between 0.33% – 1.08%, which works out to be between 14 cents – 45 cents for an average shop of $45.00.

    There are up to 25 types of cards with different transaction fees, which are averaged to the 6 main categories of cards as shown in the table below.

    Average surcharge %
    Visa Credit   0.90%
    Visa Debit   0.52%
    Mastercard Credit   1.08%
    Mastercard Debit   0.59%
    eftpos Debit   0.33%
    UPI Credit   1.75%

    We have decided to implement this system as it is the fairest way to allocate the cost of paying by card. Many other shops, including Aldi and Bakers Delight, charge a set fee of up to 2% per card transaction. Our only other alternative to cover the cost of merchant fees is to increase our prices across the board, regardless of whether members choose the convenience of paying by card or using cash.


    If I insert my card rather than tap, will it save me money?

    A: No, it makes no difference whether you insert or tap. Our payment portal will automatically charge you the lowest transaction fee it can on your particular card regardless of whether you insert or tap.

    How much is the surcharge?

    A: It depends on the type of card. If it’s a credit card it’ll be about 0.9% or 90c for a total sale of $100. If it’s a debit card it’ll be about 0.3% or 30c per $100 shop. We have been able to negotiate such low fees because we are a large business compared to others.

    Why are you suddenly charging us a fee?

    A: As a not-for-profit, we are continually reviewing our costs to make sure that we are providing the best possible prices for our customers. As part of this analysis, we have decided to pass on the cost of the convenience of paying by card rather than increase all our prices. Payments by cash are still fee free.

    Why is there a fee for card but not for cash?

    A: Banks charge businesses fees for accepting card transactions on EFTPOS machines. We don’t pay a fee to the bank for depositing cash into our account.

    Why now?

    A: After the ups and downs of the last few years, the Co-op’s expenses have been increasing across the board. We are working towards breaking even again (as we are a not-for-profit), and reviewing all of our expenses. One of the fairest ways of doing this has been identified as passing on the card fees charged for the convenience of using EFTPOS to pay for your groceries.

    Why are you doing this when Woolworths and Coles don’t?

    A: We aim to provide access to fresh, local and organic food at the lowest possible prices. We do our best to meet this and unlike the large supermarkets have no profit incentive being a not-for-profit organisation. Any surplus we make is reinvested in the Co-op to keep the organisation going into the future or passed onto local charitable organisations. Aldi and some other food shops do pass on the surcharge, which may have been identified by them also as a way to keep prices as low as possible, and give people the option of whether they pay for the use of a card or use cash for free. This feels fairer as we are giving people the choice rather than charging everyone for the convenience of card payment.

    When will you start doing this?

    A: The card transaction surcharge will come into effect from Monday 8th May.

    Where is the nearest ATM?

    A: There are four ATMs on Katoomba Street a few minutes walk away. Walk down to the end of the lane, turn left onto the main street (Katoomba St) and walk up the hill. The Bendigo Bank ATM is on the left, the Commonwealth, NAB and ANZ ATMS are all a bit further towards the top of the hill on the right of the street.

    Is this because you want everyone to use cash?

    A: The Co-op doesn’t have a preference, there are costs associated with both payment types. We have decided to pass on this cost to customers who prefer the convenience of paying by card rather than increase our prices for all customers to absorb this cost. Because the Co-op is a not-for-profit, we endeavour to keep our prices as low as possible for the benefit of all our customers, rather than companies who try to make more money to distribute profits to investors.

    If you have any further questions regarding this change, please contact the office on

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