RBA wants to understand small business costs

May 8th, 2014

Payment options explored by the RBA

Costs are a fact of everyday life, regardless of whether you're a consumer or a small business owner.

However, it's the latter group the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is interested in as it carries out a new survey on the costs faced by the nation's companies.

Receiving payments from customers is, after all, more than just about accepting cash or putting a card in a machine. Dealing with this money incurs all sorts of fees for business owners and it is these that the RBA is most interested in.

Owners and managers who sell goods and services directly to the public are being asked to take part in a new online survey that is set to be sent out via email in the coming months.

It'll cover everything from how payments are dealt with to the fees that firms face once the money has been handed over and is expected to take around 10 minutes to complete.

You might be asking yourself what will happen with the survey results - well, they'll be combined with findings from two other polls to provide a better picture of the cost of payment systems.

Results have already been collated from financial institutions and large merchants, so the input of small businesses will be the final piece in the puzzle before any changes are made.

The RBA has already made a number of alterations to benefit business finance, such as giving companies the opportunity to inform customers that some payment methods are more costly than others.

Not only this, it has taken steps to put limits on the interchange fees that are paid between the banks of the merchant and the cardholder.

Predictions from the central bank suggest these savings have so far equated to around $11 billion - so who knows what benefits further reforms could bring.

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