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ASB and Westpac to waive debit card contactless merchant fees for SMEs until the end of October

ASB and Westpac to waive debit card contactless merchant fees for SMEs until the end of October

ASB and Westpac have joined other major banks in waiving debit card contactless merchant fees for business customers trading during COVID-19 alert levels three and four.

On Wednesday interest.co.nz reported that banks weren't waiving these fees, despite doing so during the Covid-19 lockdown last year. And on Thursday Finance Minister Grant Robertson told interest.co.nz he would be encouraging banks to waive contactless debit transaction fees for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Subsequently BNZ, Kiwibank and ANZ announced on Thursday afternoon that they would waive contactless debit card fees for SMEs, for varying lengths of time.

Now ASB has joined the party with Tim Deane, the bank's Executive General Manager for Business Banking, saying ASB will waive debit card contactless fees from the start of September until the end October at this stage.

"ASB is committed to backing our business customers through these uncertain times where, for many, cashflow is significantly restricted. While we are receiving fewer calls for financial support this time around, we’re pleased to be able to put more money in the hands of our business customers because we know every little bit of relief counts, especially at the moment," Deane says.

Meanwhile, Westpac says it's also waiving contactless debit merchant service fees for "eligible" small business customers during September and October.

“This fee waiver comes on top of an overhaul to our merchant service fee structure in September 2020 that is already helping thousands of Kiwi businesses boost their bottom line. Eligible small businesses will be contacted with further details of how the fee waiver will be applied to them," Westpac NZ Acting Head of Institutional and Business Banking Andrew Bashford says.

 For retailers card acceptance fees are typically the third highest cost of doing business after wages and rent. Banks aren't waiving credit card transaction fees. Earlier this year the Government announced plans to regulate merchant service fees.

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