A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

AFR: Afterpay fees may be passed on to shoppers

The Australian Financial Review has this story:

Afterpay fees may be passed on to shoppers

Customers of Afterpay and Zip may be forced to pay buy now, pay later fees now borne by shopkeepers under plans for more intensive regulation of the fast-growing sector being considered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Afterpay and Zip prevent merchants passing on the cost of buy now, pay later credit, which represents about 4 per cent of the price of purchased goods. Major BNPL providers processed $11.4 billion worth of sales in the year ended June 30, implying about $450 million of merchant fees.

The Treasurer said changes to modernise the regulation of the payment system would be settled by mid-2022 to accommodate new and emerging payment systems.

“This will include considering the appropriate treatment of services like buy now, pay later and digital wallets, including any new rules around fees and surcharging,” Mr Frydenberg told The Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.

The story does not feel right to me. By that I mean it feels like it is part of a political game and not an active consideration. I doubt the government would help small business while at the same time undertaking a move that the big business BNPL operators would not like.

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