Tuesday, August 7, 2012

quicko: EFTPOS

Stands for, as I've possibly already told you, electronic funds transfer, point of sale.  Which really is a mouthful, so everyone here calls it EFTPOS, which still always reminds me of another acronym with the same last three letters that I don't usually use in public ... but regardless, what I really wanted to tell you today was that I recently saw a sign advertizing the fact that (joy joy!) you can use EFTPOS for purchases (get this) under $20!  As if it were a huge revelation!  Which it, unfortunately, is in Australia.  While in America you can pretty much always get around with a piece of plastic, in Australia you've just go to have cash.  The emergency $20 I always kept in America very quickly morphed into an emergency $50 here ... because if you actually get caught short, there's no way $20's going to do the trick.  But back to the main point -- in America you can easily just use your card for purchases of a dollar or two and possibly you'll get a funny look, but honestly you very rarely even get that.  In Australia, though, if it's under, say, $20, no one understands why you bother.  Sheesh.


Laetitia :-) said...

A lot of the smaller shops will have signs saying no EFTPOS for transactions of less than $10. Basically its because the merchant fees make it not worth their while - the profit margin on a sale of less than $10 is too low to cover the 50c minimum merchant fee charge.

As for why you may not bother - many banks charge a fee for using 'too many' EFTPOS transactions (e.g. more than 4 in any one month) and, if that fee is $1 each time, then you're much better off going to the supermarket, buying some random thing you remember from your shopping list on fridge back home, and getting money out at the same time. We do this particularly when we're interstate and can't find an ATM that belongs to our bank; using the ATM of another bank may incur an inter-bank fee that's higher than the 'too many EFTPOS transactions' fees.

Mom said...

Even in the US, you will occasionally find a place that has a minimum amount for a charge. Typically, it is a smaller type store and not one of the major ones.