Merchant Support

If you’re unable to find the answers you’re looking for please call the Merchant Helpdesk on 1800 230 177 (24hrs, 7 days a week). You can also ask questions and find answers in the new Support Community.

Surcharging FAQs

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has established changes to card payments regulations banning excessive payment surcharges and providing new powers for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This new standard will affect the amount that merchants can surcharge for card transactions. The standard currently applies to large businesses and will apply to all other businesses from 1 September 2017. Find out more information on the changes or view the ACCC Guidelines.

1. Where can I find my surcharging (Cost of Acceptance) information?

Your Monthly Cost of Acceptance information is provided in your monthly merchant statements, with Annual Cost of Acceptance only provided in your June statement.

As the standard was implemented in September 2017, existing CommBank customers will have received a letter in November (issued 23 November 2017) which provided your annual Cost of Acceptance.  Please note all future annual Cost of Acceptance information will be available in your June statement.

2. What is my Cost of Acceptance?

Your Cost of Acceptance is the cost you incur to accept a payment from a particular type of card. Your Cost of Acceptance is calculated for each card type, being Visa (credit and debit/prepaid cards), Mastercard (credit and debit/prepaid cards), EFTPOS and American Express cards.

3. How is my Cost of Acceptance calculated?

Your Cost of Acceptance is calculated over a specified time period; either a month or year. This calculation includes costs such as your monthly plan fee, interchange and scheme feesand terminal fees. Your Cost of Acceptance is expressed as a dollar amount as well as a % of your net sales.

4. How much can I surcharge?

You may surcharge customers (who pay by card) up to your Cost of Acceptance for that card type. This information can be found on the letter we issue dated 23 November 2017 (annual) or your monthly merchant statements (monthly).

5. How do I apply my surcharge?

There are apps available to download to the Albert Device which can assist you with applying the surcharge. Alternatively you can add the surcharge to the total transaction at the point of sale.

6. I have multiple stores at different locations, what can I surcharge?

Your Cost of Acceptance is calculated per merchant number. If you own a franchise or have multiple stores, you can average the surcharge rate across your stores per card type, so long as all stores are under the same legal entity.

Please note that you cannot average the Cost of Acceptance per individual merchant number and surcharge using the average of all card types.

7. What if I don’t want to surcharge?

If you don’t currently surcharge, this information does not impact you. However if you decide to surcharge in the future, you need to ensure that you follow the Surcharging rules by not surcharging in excess of what it costs you to process credit card transactions.

8. What should I surcharge if I’m a new merchant?

Monthly Cost of Acceptance information will be available on your first merchant statement. For the period where Cost of Acceptance is not available, you can choose not to surcharge or surcharge at a rate that is deemed reasonable* for the month.

*A reasonable surcharge is a rate no higher than what it costs you to process a transaction.

9. Should I use my annual or monthly Cost of Acceptance information to determine my surcharge rate?

You should only have to review the level of surcharge once a year using your annual Cost of Acceptance information.

If this is not available (you’re a new merchant) or your business is seasonal and your transactions fluctuates from month to month, you may wish to change your surcharge limit on a monthly basis using your monthly statements.

10Can I factor other costs into my Cost of Acceptance calculation?

You may incur costs from other service providers which are eligible for inclusion in your Cost of Acceptance. Other costs which are eligible for inclusion include:

  • Payment gateway fees
  • Fraud prevention services
  • The cost of insuring against forward delivery risk

These costs must be able to be verified by contracts, statements or invoices issued by the service provider(s). These costs may be added to the Cost of Acceptance information provided by CommBank when determining your allowable surcharge rate(s).

You cannot include any of your own internal costs when calculating your Cost of Acceptance (for example, labour or electricity costs).

11. What happens if my card surcharge(s) does not reflect my Cost of Acceptance?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is empowered to enforce compliance with this Surcharging Standard. The ACCC may take action against any merchant whose card surcharge exceeds its Cost of Acceptance.

12. Why is my Cost of Acceptance expressed as N/A on the Cost of Acceptance table?

Your Cost of Acceptance is expressed as N/A when there is not enough information to calculate your Cost of Acceptance. This can occur if you are a new merchant or your facility has been inactive for some time.

13. Can I impose one surcharge on all payment types?

Yes, you must set the surcharge at the level of the lowest Cost of Acceptance across all card types.

Please note: Surcharging rules does not allow you to surcharge an average of the percentages shown under the Avg. Cost Per Transaction (%) column.

14. Can I surcharge at a flat rate?

The Surcharging rule does not prevent you from imposing a payment surcharge as a flat or fixed fee, however it will may be easier for you to apply a surcharge in percentage terms because in most cases payment costs are charged in percentage terms.

When imposing a payment surcharge as a flat or fixed fee, you will need to ensure that the amount of the surcharge does not exceed your Cost of Acceptance for any given transaction.

Be careful of imposing a flat fee surcharge where the cost of a transaction is relatively small. In those circumstances the surcharge is likely to be excessive.

15. Why is my Cost of Acceptance so high? This appears incorrect.
Your Cost of Acceptance is calculated based on your card net sales for the stated time period.

For example, you may only accept $10 in sales via card payments in August, but your monthly fee may come to $60 as per your pricing plan.  

Your Cost of Acceptance (blended across all card types) for August would be calculated as: $60 (fee) / $10 (card sales) = 600%.

If you use your merchant facility on a seasonal basis, you should rely upon your annual Cost of Acceptance information when setting your surcharge rate(s). Or you may choose not to surcharge.

16. How can I differentiate what is an EFTPOS transaction and what is credit?

Debit transactions are processed when the card holder uses an EFTPOS key card or Scheme debit card and selects CHQ or SAV.

Credit transactions are processed when the card holder selects credit on the terminal and often when cards are tapped on the terminal.

17. What happens if I continue to surcharge at my own rates?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been given powers to enforce compliance with this new Standard. There are regulatory consequences if you surcharge above your cost of acceptance. For more information visit the Payments System Regulation page at www.rba.gov.au

18. Where can I find a copy of my FY16-FY17 Cost of Acceptance letter?

Please call us on 1800 230 177.

19. Where can I go for more information?

RBA information

ACCC information

Call us on 1800 230 177 

Documents and Guides

Support for existing merchants is available via 24/7 Merchant Helpdesk on 1800 230 177.

You can also ask questions and find answers in the new Support Community. View Support Community topics on:

FAQs

Albert FAQs

Q. How can I Get a discount or special rate on my merchant Facility?

A: If you're a member of a professional group, industry association or buying group, you may qualify for a special rate on your merchant facility. To find out if you qualify, request a call back from our Merchant Services team or call 1800 730 554 to discuss your best option.

Q. How can I apply for a merchant facility?

A. We’ve made it quick and easy for you to apply for our Merchant Services product solutions. You can either:

1.  Apply online using our Device and plan selector tool. We’ll give you a call back within 2 days to get you set up;

2.  Visit your nearest branch and chat directly to a Merchant Services Sales Specialist online over video conferencing; or

3.  Call 1800 730 554 to chat directly to one our Merchant Direct Sales team members.

Q. Can I complete an online application?

A. Yes. If you already know you need an EFTPOS terminal, you can use our Device and plan selector tool and apply online. Once you’ve completed our online application form, we’ll get in touch within 2 business days.

Q. How much does an EFTPOS terminal cost? Where can I find that information?

A. We offer a wide range of terminals and plans to suit all business needs. Simple Merchant Plans start from just $60 a month with no joining fee or lock in plan, so you can easily switch between plans with no extra costs. Additional fees and charges may apply including a $110 service cancellation fee.

Use our Device and plan selector tool to find an EFTPOS solution that works for your business.

If your monthly turnover is more than $12,000 or you're looking for a more customised solution, you can call 1800 730 554 for more information.

Q. Do I need a Commonwealth Bank account to be able to use a Commonwealth Bank EFTPOS terminal?

A. No. However we do encourage you to link your EFTPOS terminal to a CommBank Business Transaction Account to take advantage of cheaper prices and Everyday Settlement. Our Simple Merchant Plans come automatically with a Business Transaction Account, so you can easily manage your money.

Q. Can I purchase an EFTPOS terminal outright?

A. No. We only provide our EFTPOS terminals on a monthly rental agreement, so you always have a market leading terminal and 24hr support and replacements

Q. I’m taking over an existing business which already utilises a Commonwealth Bank EFTPOS terminal, do I still need to apply?

A. Yes. Since you’re a new owner with a different account you must still apply via our Merchant Sales team by calling 1800 730 554.

Q. How long will it take for me to receive my EFTPOS terminal?

A. After the online application is approved, it’ll take approximately 5-7 working days.

To fast track your online application, we can now complete it over the phone. We’ll need to speak to a business Owner or Director to check business details and agree to product and service disclaimers. Once you’ve been approved, we’ll send our technician to install the terminal and provide basic training.

Q. How will I receive the EFTPOS terminal?

A. One of our qualified technicians will come out to your site to install the terminal for you and also provide you with basic training.

Q. How long will it take me to set up my eCommerce solution?

A. After the online application is approved, we’ll send you an instructional letter and/or email within 48 hours. You should be up and running within 24 - 48 hours (if you’re using the Internet Merchant Account, it’ll depend on your 3rd party provider).

Q. I’ve recently heard about the Pi platform and Albert and Leo mobile devices. Where can I find more information on these products?

A. You can visit our website to find more information about the Leo mobile device  or the Albert tablet device. Both devices run on the state of the art Pi platform. Visiting either web page will give you more information about Pi. When more information is available on the new Albert tablet device, you can be one of the first to know by registering your interest.

Q. How can I get my EFTPOS terminal quicker?

A. To fast track your online application, we can now complete it over the phone. We’ll need to speak to a business Owner or Director to check business details and agree to product and service disclaimers. Once your application has approved, we’ll send our technician to install the terminal and provide basic training.

Q. What are the benefits of a Simple Merchant Plan?

A. Starting from just $60 per month, our Simple Merchant Plans offer a range of EFTPOS device and plan solutions that make taking payments easy. Whether fixed, portable or mobile, we've got a device and monthly plan to suit your business. Our easy pricing options let you pay a fixed monthly amount based on your card turnover, so there are no surprises. Use our Device and plan selector tool to get started.

  • No joining fee or lock in contract, so it’s easy to change plans;
  • Automatically receive a Business Transaction Account, so you can easily manage your money;
  • Plus enjoy Everyday Settlement, so you’ll get your money same day, every day of the week.

Q. Can I accept tips if the customer wants to pay via contactless?

A. Yes, if your EFTPOS Mobile terminal is set up to accept tips, the customer can enter a tip amount before they present their card for payment.

How it works

1. The EFTPOS terminal will display the sale amount and tip amount, which is $0.00 by default

2. The customer can choose to enter a tip amount on the terminal or press OK to skip this step

3. The customer is then prompted to pay either via contactless payment* or by swiping / inserting their card

4. Once the transaction is completed, the tip amount will be displayed on their receipt.

*Please note, if the total transaction amount including tip is greater than $100.00, the cardholder will  need to enter their PIN.

Q. What happens if my terminal is damaged?

A. It is important for a merchant to contact us immediately if their terminal is either not working or defective and we will repair or replace it as soon as possible. If you have equipment that requires replacement or repair please call the help desk 1800 230 177. 

Q.What happens if my terminal charging docks or cables are damaged?

A. It is important for a merchant to regularly inspect the power cables and charging docks. If these are damaged or distressed in any way we will replace them free of charge. If you have equipment that requires replacement or repair please call the help desk 1800 230 177.

NBN

Q. How do I know if my existing EFTPOS terminal will work on the NBN?

A. We have a range of EFTPOS terminals which are NBN ready.

  • If you are already using our EFTPOS Broadband or EFTPOS Mobile solutions, they will work on the NBN.
  • If you are using a telephone/dial up terminal, you will need to upgrade to one of our NBN ready EFTPOS solutions. 

Q. What do you need in order to be NBN ready and accept card payments when you switch?

A. Speak to our Merchant Helpdesk or your Relationship Manager to select the most suitable NBN Ready EFTPOS terminal option:

  • EFTPOS Broadband – Standalone or Integrated
  • EFTPOS Mobile

If you have selected one of our Broadband terminals, you will also need to contact your telecommunications company or Internet Service Provider (e.g. Telstra, Optus, iiNet etc.) to arrange for an NBN compatible data service.

Tap and Go/PayTag

Q. Is there any greater risk by not getting a signature or PIN for contactless transactions below $100?

A. No. It is the same as any credit or scheme debit card you accept through your terminal.  Merchants are protected when accepting CommBank PayTag transactions of $100 or less, as the card issuer is not able to chargeback the transaction due to no signature or PIN being obtained.

Q. If a contactless transaction is declined can I process this again by swiping or inserting the card into my terminal?

A. No, if the transaction is declined on the contactless reader you should always follow the directions on the terminal to try another payment method or ask for another form of payment.

Q. If I have an external contactless reader, how do I tell if my reader is on and ready to go?

A. One green light on the reader indicates that it is turned on. The green light will start flashing to tell your customer to ‘tap’ their CommBank PayTag against it.

Q. Where do contactless transactions appear on my settlement receipt?

A. CommBank PayTag contactless transactions are just like any other card transaction and will show in your credit totals.

Q. What if my contactless reader does not recognise a CommBank PayTag on the first ‘tap’?

A. Ensure that the customers are ‘tapping’ their card in the top right on the external reader or terminal as this is where the signal is stronger.

Q. Do you need to be a CommBank customer to use the CommBank app?

A. Yes, to use the CommBank app you need to be a CommBank customer and be registered for NetBank with NetCode SMS.

If you're having trouble completing a transaction, try the steps below. If you're unable to solve the problem, please advise your customer to call 13 2221 for further assistance.

Samsung Galaxy S4

  • Near Field Communication (NFC) should be switched on in the phone’s settings.
  • The payment card must be linked correctly within the CommBank app.
  • Sufficient funds need to be available in the customer’s account.

iPhone

  • The PayTag should be attached to the bottom half of the iPhone on or underneath the case.
  • The PayTag needs to be linked to an account with sufficient available funds.Tap & Pay should be turned ON in the CommBank app.
  • How to Tap and Pay?
    • Step 1: Position PayTag on one of the corners of the terminal within 3 cm.
    • Step 2: Hold for three seconds.
    • Step 3: If an error occurs, try again.

Android

  • The PayTag should be attached to the bottom half of the iPhone on or underneath the case.
  • The Near Field Communication (NFC) technology should be switched off as it interferes with the PayTag (which also uses NFC).
  • The PayTag needs to be linked to an account with sufficient available funds.
  • Tap & Pay should be turned ON in the CommBank app.
  • How to Tap and Pay?
    • Step 1: Position PayTag on one of the corners of the terminal within 3 cm.
    • Step 2: Hold for three seconds.
    • Step 3: If an error occurs, try again.

 

CommWeb

Q. When can I expect funds to go into my account? 

A. We provide same day settlement for transactions processed before 5:30pm AEST, if your nominated settlement bank account is with CommBank. If your account is with another financial institution, the settlement will take two days or more, depending on your financial institution. 

Q. How long will it take for me to start accepting payments online?

A. Once your complete application has been approved, a welcome pack e-mail will be sent to you outlining the integration and installation instructions within 2 business days.

Q. How can I search for transactions that are processed through my CommWeb facility?

A. Clients will be given access to the CommWeb Administration portal. This portal is accessed via the internet and can be used for a variety of administrative purposes such as reporting, transaction searches and refunds, just to name a few.

Q. What is the daily cut-off time for cardholders purchasing through my website?

A. The daily cut-off time is 5:30PM AEST. Any transactions processed after this time will be in the next day’s settlement.

Q. How secure is CommWeb? 

A. CommWeb uses industry standard 256-bit SSL security in all data transmission. The padlock on the bottom of the payment pages signals that the cardholder has entered a secure site. The cardholder’s credit card details are secured also on our servers by physical, network and software security. If you choose to brand your own payment pages, you have to ensure security on your payment page/s or on your server/s. 

Downtime processing

Q. How can I manually process transactions using the Offline and Merchant summary vouchers (screen shots below)?

View or download the guide

Offline voucher
Merchant summary voucher

Q. How can I manually process transactions using the Sales and Merchant summary vouchers (screen shots below)?

View or download the guide

Sales voucher
Merchant summary

Albert Accessibility Solution

CBA recognises and endorses the importance of payment accessibility, and we are continually enhancing the features of our payment devices, including improvements to the accessibility of our new Albert EFTPOS tablet for the visually impaired. The new Albert Accessibility solution provides a way for people who are blind or have low vision to securely complete PIN entry within the Albert payment App.

Q. How can I enable Accessible Mode (Text to Speech) for my customer?

  1. Launch Payment App from Albert home screen
  2. Enter Accessible Mode from merchant menu
  3. Press Slider to turn Accessible Mode On
  4. Text to Speech will prompt customer to insert, swipe or tap card
  5. Text to Speech will prompt customer to select Cheque, Savings or Credit
  6. Customer to enter PIN based on Accessible PIN entry mode – virtual cursors begins at ‘5’.
  7. Standard receipt screen will appear upon confirmation

Q. What if my customers are uncomfortable using the Accessibility Solution?

Tap and Pay (NFC) is available for purchases less than $100 or paper payments. Alternatively customers can also use domestically issued signature preferred cards which are issued by certain financial institutions to accommodate special needs of individual card holders and subject to specific criteria.

Q. Where can I find more information?

Please refer to Albert Accessibility User Guide.

We can help

Ready to apply

Call 1800 730 554 8am - 6pm (Sydney/Melbourne time)

 

Important information

As this advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Merchant Agreement, Financial Services Guide and Operator and User Guides at our Merchant Support Centre.