MasterCard claims Aussie shoppers are being taken for a ride and that businesses are doing themselves disservice with the transaction minimums that are currently in place.

The credit card company is on a mission to convince Australian retailers to abandon the practice, which research shows is extremely unpopular with shoppers and is also bad for business.

MasterCard claim 84% of customers resent the current restrictions on small transactions.

They claim the amount of money wasted in a year by a typical Aussie shopper forced to purchase an extra item at the checkout to make up a “minimum” card limit could pay for a trip to Bali.

MasterCard head of market development and innovation Garry Duursma says:

“The big picture on this is that Australians have absolutely embraced contactless payments,”

“In excess of 70 per cent of all face-to-face transactions are being done contactless, and increasingly people are starting to use their cards for extremely low-value everyday purchases like a cup of coffee or a magazine, things we used to carry change for.”


“The Reserve Bank has been tracking the reduction in the average interchange for some time now. This is the basis of the merchant service fee that the retailer pays — the biggest chunk of that is interchange,” he said.

“It’s below 80 basis points now, where at one point if was above 150 basis points. Since the RBA first started the process of managing and reforming the cards business, interchange fees have been coming down considerably.”

“It’s quite embarrassing when a consumer comes to the counter and the merchant says, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, there’s a minimum payment’,” Mr Duursma said.

“It’s inconvenient when they’re asked to spend more. It just becomes a bad experience.”

“Now that more and more retailers are prepared to put up a sign saying they have no minimum, that starts a process of slowly educating the rest of the market.”