Westpac helps businesses save on “tap and go” contactless merchant transactions

Westpac Group has today announced it will proactively contact merchant customers to activate Merchant Choice Routing (MCR) – also called least cost routing – who we think will benefit from the switch based on their current usage.

Guil Lima, Chief Executive Business Division said: “Westpac’s decision today will help merchant customers with Westpac owned terminals activate pricing that’s best for them, giving them one less thing to worry about at an already very challenging time. We estimate close to 37,000 small businesses will be better off.”

MCR has been available since April 2019 as an opt-in for merchants operating on Westpac owned terminals, but it has been complex for merchants to determine the potential benefits. Additionally, it does not always result in lower cost of payment acceptance.

Over the coming months Westpac will reach out to our customers who we believe would benefit from MCR and, unless they prefer not to, we will begin switching them over.

Mr Lima said: “This is about making it easier for our customers to manage their business and save money. Savings depend on many variables including the card mix, transaction volume and size, industry, and pricing plan.

“Every business will be different, for some customers it might mean savings of less than $100 per annum while others may save upwards of $1000.”

Westpac’s announcement today was welcomed by Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell.

Ms Carnell said: “Westpac is doing the right thing by Australian small businesses in this economic crisis in delivering least cost routing.”

“I congratulate Westpac for their industry leadership and urge other big banks to follow.”

Mr Lima said: “This is important support for our small business customers in a time of economic uncertainty and this comes on top of the $15 million in merchant fee refunds we have already provided business customers through our Covid-19 support measures.”

“The impact of the pandemic on small business earnings and the potential for MCR to provide cost savings for merchants, is a key reason we are making this change now.”

“At the same time, there are a range of merchant transaction costs for businesses we are also working to simplify. Our goal is to make it easier for customers to understand their cost of acceptance and increase transparency.”

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