No longer able to use credit facility on debit cards

As of 15 April 2010 Big W does not allow us to use our Visa debit card as a credit facility.
They say it is to recoup costs charged by the banks but they are still using credit cards -so that does not make sense.
Banks have always encouraged us to use the 'credit' facility so as not to use up all our allowable Eftpos transactions in any month.
When I complained to their Head Office I was told that the other large retailers will follow them in this. Any other opinions on this?

Last reply: 15th Feb 2011 / 7 replies / Post by terribrown

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Posted by: Droggy
Posted: 12th Jul 2010

Droggy says: All shops have taken this stance. I feel that our freedom of choice has been taken away and also I always like to use the sign facility as using your pin opens you up more to fraud, ie not only do people use atm's to skim but eftpos machines have been used also. Reply


Posted by: ApHeX
Posted: 20th Nov 2010

Droggy says: All shops have taken this stance. I feel that our freedom of choice has been taken away and also I always like to use the sign facility as using your pin opens you up more to fraud, ie not only do...

ApHeX says: I work in retail and I can tell you it would be a lot easier to practice the signature from the signed slip they hand to you than try and get the PIN from someone covering the pad. There are 1000 possible combinations for a 4-digit PIN (0000-9999) yet its easy to find a retail assistant who doesnt check a signature. Reply


Posted by: Kat
Posted: 2nd Aug 2010

Kat says: People don't seem to realize that this is an issue about the banks they use and not the retailers (i can't believe I'm about to defend big business here... TOTALLY out of character for me!) If your bank has encouraged you to press the "credit" button in order to not use up your allowable EFTPOS transactions, and you NEED more EFTPOS transactions than your account allows fee-free, then you really need to change your bank account or your shopping habits.

The banks LOVE it when you to press the credit button because as soon as you do, the retailer is hit with an extra fee- so the banks make extra money out of the transaction. This fee doesn't get charged when you hit the debit button- the only charge then is yours & ONLY if you have mismanaged your spending & gone over your transaction limit. (which the banks are ALSO happy for you to do!) The retailers are now waking up to this gradually since extra fees mean that their profits are lower. When retailers profit margins start to fall, they COULD respond by once again using it as an excuse to raise the prices of essentials like groceries. I know I'd rather press the debit button than to give the retailer an excuse to raise prices- and I have ALWAYS pressed the debit button in the small retailers who I like to support & encouraged others to do so too. So understand that the only people making money out of this are the BANKS.

The majority of people that are complaining about this either don't understand how the credit/debit facilities work, or are the ones who have not shopped around the banks for the account that suits their spending habits best. If this is a problem for you- talk to your bank & be prepared to take your banking elsewhere if you can't find an account that does what you need it to do there. Reply


Posted by: peterv
Posted: 16th Sep 2010

peterv says: I mainly shop at coles and Aldi and have not had this problem. Reply


Posted by: Mel
Posted: 18th Nov 2010

Mel says: It is happening at Safeway/Woolworths too. When I asked a check-out chick why this is happening I was told that the banks take too long to pass on the money to them. Boo Hoo! These companies are multi-million dollar organisations and you can't tell me that they can't wait 2 or 3 days to get their money from the banks. I don't shop at those places anymore unless I have cash. At the moment Coles and KMart still allow the Credit facility. After all, what is the point in having a 'Credit Debit' card if you can't use it to its full potential. Typical big organisations losing touch with the little people. Reply


Posted by: ApHeX
Posted: 20th Nov 2010

ApHeX says: The Banks charge each retail outlet 4cents every time the credit option is used on a debit card. However retail outlets are not charged when customers use a credit card. If each Big W has, say, 500 customers a day use credit on a debit card that equals $20 a day. Times that by the number of Big W's and it ends up a couple of thousand each day the company is charged. Over the course of a year it equates to over half a million dollars being paid to the banks by Big W simply to have a credit option available. The question now to be asked is will these savings be passed through to customers... Also, Debit cards were introduced as a way of having a card that can be used by people who don't like credit cards at places where only credit is available. Examples include online, Tax agencies, Govt departments etc... This nifty feature was abused by people looking for convenience. The banks encouraged their use because while it looks like people save money, it opens them up to overdraw fees and fees incurred at places that charge to use credit instead of savings or cheque. Now retailers are being made to look like the bad guys when in actual fact the banks are charging fees which are making retailers raise prices to cover the costs. It won't be long before all retailers take a stand and debit cards will be used for original purpose. I bank with St. George freedom accounts and they have unlimited EFTPOS transactions. Shop around and the banks will soon take notice. Reply


Posted by: possum
Posted: 15th Feb 2011

possum says: I bank with Bendigo Bank.
Shop at Woolworths use MasterCard debit card have not experienced any problem when using the credit button.
I am aware many business charge a $1 surcharge when using a credit or debit card as payment for purchase.I believe this is to offset bank charges to the business. Reply

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