Woolworths, Coles to raise tap-and-go limit to $200 – Finance – Hardware – Networking – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia’s two biggest supermarkets Woolworths and Coles will raise their dollar limits for contactless transactions without PIN numbers from $100 to $200 in a bid to stop further COVID-19 infections by lessening the use of payment terminal keypads.
The move comes, iTnews has confirmed, after the two grocery giants agitated strongly for the lift to the government, prevailing on global credit card schemes Mastercard and Visa as well as regulators and Tempemail Cabinet to raise the current $100 limit until the spread of the virus subsides.
The official announcement of the lifting of the contactless limit is scheduled for Friday morning, however it is already working in some supermarkets.
Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci has been publicly outspoken about the need for the contactless limit to rise.
Customers using Apple Pay to tap via glass will also be roped in under the raised limit.
Importantly, eftpos transactions linked to Apple Pay – which is offered by ANZ, Suncorp and raft of smaller banks – will also be PIN free to $200. Bank issued eftpos cards that use tap, like the classic CBA Keycard, will also work.
Less clear is how other merchants will be treated.
Coles and Woolworths are classed as ‘strategic merchants’ under payment card interchange fees because of the volume of transactions they push. This means the supermarkets get lower card interchange fees, money that is shunted between issuing banks.
One issue is that while Australia’s biggest retailers might be doing the right thing in terms of hygiene, if smaller merchants are not roped in, it will effectively steer customers to the supermarkets with the most market power.
A further issue is that the push to get people to use contactless transactions overall will deliver a handsome revenue windfall to credit card giants Mastercard and Visa because the bulk of debit-based tap-and-go transactions ride on their so-called proprietary rails.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has been pushing for banks to further roll out a regulatory reform known as least cost routing, also know as merchant choice routing, that lets shopkeepers set the rails transactions ride on rather than the banks and the card schemes.
Shopkeepers are already on the warpath over tap fee gouging having formed a fightback group earlier this year. 
With the RBA’s review of payments systems regulation and now on hold until next year, and consumers being urged to tap more than ever, an obvious and real question arises as to whether there is now a case for more immediate regulatory measures.  
Coles and Woolworths are being contacted for comment.

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Woolworths pushes banks, govt to raise tap-and-go limit from $100 to $250 – Finance – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Woolworths has asked the government and banks to raise the limit of contactless card transactions from $100 to $250 to prevent hundreds of thousands of customers interacting with PIN pads during a pandemic.
CEO Brad Banducci told ABC Radio’s Drive program yesterday afternoon that the idea had been raised during a 1.30pm meeting yesterday by the Supermarket Taskforce.
Formed by the Department of Home Affairs earlier this week, the taskforce aims to break the retail logjam with “representatives from government departments, supermarkets, the grocery supply chain and the ACCC” on the body.
Banducci saw raising tap-and-go payment limits as important and believed previous barriers to doing so would fall away.
“We’re encouraging tap-and-go [bcause] the less touchpoints there are, the less risk there is of course in the store,” he told ABC Radio.
On the current $100 limit without needing to use a PIN, Banducci said: “This is an issue we raised at the supermarket government taskforce at 1.30 today. 
“We’ve asked the government to work with us to see whether we can raise the limit to $250 actually, and if we did that, there would be 350,000 less physical interactions required between our customers and a PIN pad.”
Banducci did not immediately quantify the time period that 350,000 number referred to.
“I’m not saying we’re going to [raise the limit] but it is one of the things that we’ve raised the financial institutions as well as the government [as] just another small measure that will help,” Banducci said.
However, quizzed on whether he thought authorities were receptive, Banducci said: “I think we’re really coming together as a community and as a society over the last week. 
“It’ll happen – in my view it’s just a question of when. 
“It’s a question of hours or days.
“We’re not in the ‘if’ anymore, which I think is very pleasing.”

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