Merchant Fee Discounts:

Our Right To Ask.

If there is one thing that I have witnessed over the 2019 Christmas and Boxing Day sales period it has been the splurge on endless spending from consumers.  Bargains to be found everywhere and so many payment options available to us, even if we don’t have cash!  We have never had it this easy, have we?  Humm, Latitude, AfterPay, ZipPay are all being heavily promoted in this time and like sheep we jump on the “convenience” train and don’t have to pay in cash anymore.  Being able to purchase products in so many different ways has made spending and saving money so much easier right…?

Have we ever stopped to think how much we are actually paying for this convenience? 

Humm, Latitude, AfterPay and ZipPay all charge merchant fees to retailers.  So, what does a “merchant fee” mean and why should we care?  Let us use AfterPay as an example…

Say you purchase an item that costs $100 and you choose to pay via AfterPay.  You get the item and the retailer gets paid, it’s a very simple and easy transaction for consumers and retailers.  What you may not know is that AfterPay charge retailers a merchant fee of 30% for allowing the use of their service to purchase the goods.

To summarise:

  • $100 paid from the consumer to AfterPay. (plus late fees if the consumer misses payments)
  • $70 paid from AfterPay to the retailer.
  • $30 merchant fee, kept with AfterPay. (plus late fees received if consumer misses payments)

Not only do AfterPay keep $30 out of $100 for each transaction, but they also hold the retailers money for about 48 hours, and charge consumers late fees if they miss payments.  This means that AfterPay can make interest on monies held, additional income from late payments and further increase their business wealth by doing so!

30% is a significant discount for any item in a retail space, and to cover these costs and maintain business margins, retailers would have no choice to make their items more expensive to cover this loss, right?  This is a standard rule of any business and any business not increasing their costs to incorporate merchant fees would be squeezing their margins lower, putting potential risk to their business and worst case, shut up shop and cease to exist.

Our question to you… If retailers are only making $70 on an item with a shelf price of $100, then why can’t we ask for a merchant discount when paying in cash?  I thought it would be fun to ask a store clerk over the Christmas period “excuse me, seeing as we are paying in cash, are we able to receive the merchant fee discount…?”  They just looked at me with a blank stare.

It astounds me that this information is not public knowledge, but now that you know… what will you do differently?

Now that you know merchant fees are included in the shelf price of your ticketed item, the next time you need to make a big purchase at a store like Harvey Norman, consider asking for a discount!  Don’t be afraid to haggle on the shelf price, ask what the best price is for cash (politely), then ask if that price can be rounded down!  Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

As savvy consumers, wanting to keep more of our hard-earned money in our own pocket, we must be informed exactly what makes up the cost of the ticketed price on the shelf, and of course where we can get these discounts.

If we aren’t using a vendor such as AfterPay, ZipPay, Latitude, or Humm and are choosing to pay in cash, then why should we pay for merchant fees on marked-up ticketed shelf prices?

It is time for us to ask for a better deal and be smarter with our purchases!

**Source https://www.smartcompany.com.au/finance/latitudepay-harvey-norman-bnpl/

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ANDREW MATES is the director, money coach and operator of Adelaide Budgeting and has always had a keen interest in numbers and the philosophy of succeeding financially in a world full of consumerism.  Andrew is a valued member of the team and is passionate about education and empowerment around finance and providing people with the confidence to successfully manage their own finances.  Equipped with a Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking (but not a broker), Andrew and his team can work with you to create a budget plan and savings strategy that is second to none which will see you kicking goals and doing the things you want to do but never thought you could!

In between helping clients and working on strategies, Andrew also enjoys walking on the beach, playing with Lilly his Labrador and road trips with his wife Alyssa.