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Australia Set To Say Goodbye To Its Biggest Annoyance

We may never be able to hear the words ‘sorry, there’s a $10 minimum’ every again.

Mastercard has warned that Australian customers are being ripped off and businesses are starting to shoot themselves in the foot with old-fashioned minimums.

According to Mastercard's research, 84 percent of their clients resent restrictions on transactions, 62 percent find it frustrating they can’t use cards for transactions, and 44 per cent avoid shops with minimums altogether.

Last year, the amount of money that was spent buying an extra item to make a minimum could have bought the average Australian a holiday to Bali.

As part of its “Zero Minimum” campaign, the company has interviewed young professionals and busy mums who have calculated how much they are wasting by falling into the “minimum spend trap”. A twice-weekly purchase with a $6 top-up on a $4 coffee works out to $624 a year.

“The big picture on this is that Australians have embraced contactless payments,” said MasterCard head of market development and innovation Garry Duursma.

“More than 70 per cent of all face-to-face transactions are being done contactless, and increasingly people are starting to use their cards for extremely low-value everyday purchases like a cup of coffee or a magazine, things we used to carry change for.”

While there is still a ‘cost of transaction’ for businesses to process transfers, MasterCard said that has nearly ‘halved’ since its peak.

According to MasterCard, 53 per cent of Australian businesses has no minimum for card payments. Of the 47 percent which does have a minimum, nearly a third don’t have a sign telling customers.

“It’s quite embarrassing when a consumer comes to the counter and the merchant says, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, there’s a minimum payment’,” Mr Duursma said. “It’s inconvenient when they’re asked to spend more. It just becomes a bad experience.”

Mastercard's ‘Zero Minimum’ campaign is being rolled out to shops who don’t have a minimum to bring attention to their forward thinking.

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