Retailers are continuing to call for the Albanese Government to lower expenses for small and medium-sized businesses by mandating least-cost routing.

The latest Retail Payment data for July released by the Reserve Bank showed a 27.3 percent increase in total card payments year on year, of which the payment fees, as well as the current inflationary and interest rate pressures, are being passed on to consumers to cover the cost.

National Retail Association Chief Executive Dominique Lamb said as one of Labor’s election promises, the least cost routing, and lower merchant fees need to move to the top of the agenda.

“SMEs are disproportionately impacted by steep transaction fees and are offered no protection from the possibility of merchant fees exploding.

“Critical action is needed to stop these businesses from paying more for their payment services. For too long we have been hit with unnecessarily high fees from the big credit networks when there is another cheaper option.

“Without action on this issue, this is another cost increase for struggling businesses that will be passed on to consumers.

“The modern retail environment calls for default least-cost routing for all in-store and online debit card transactions to be implemented.

“Australia needs an updated regulatory system for debit payments that reflects modern retail.”

The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 stores across Australia.  It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast food sectors for close to 100 years.