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Exploring Zero-Cost EFTPOS: What You Need to Know

Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) systems have revolutionized the way businesses handle transactions, offering convenience and efficiency to both merchants and customers. Recently, the concept of zero-cost EFTPOS has gained attention, promising to eliminate transaction fees traditionally borne by merchants. In this blog, we delve into the intricacies of zero-cost EFTPOS, its implications for businesses, and whether it truly delivers on its promises.

Understanding EFTPOS and Transaction Fees

EFTPOS systems facilitate electronic payments using debit and credit cards at the point of sale. Traditionally, merchants incur fees for processing these transactions, which cover costs associated with card networks, banks, and payment processors. These fees can vary based on factors such as transaction volume, card type (debit vs. credit), and the agreement between the merchant and payment provider.

What is Zero-Cost EFTPOS?

Zero-cost EFTPOS refers to a payment processing model where merchants allegedly pay no transaction fees for processing card payments. Instead of passing fees onto merchants, providers of zero-cost EFTPOS claim to offset these costs through other means, such as surcharging customers who choose to pay with a credit card. This model aims to alleviate the financial burden on merchants while maintaining revenue streams for payment processors.

Implications for Businesses

For businesses, zero-cost EFTPOS presents both opportunities and considerations:

  • Cost Savings: Eliminating transaction fees can potentially reduce operating expenses and increase profit margins, particularly for businesses with high transaction volumes.
  • Customer Perception: Surcharging credit card payments may influence customer behavior and perception. Businesses must communicate transparently about any surcharges to avoid customer dissatisfaction.
  • Contractual Agreements: Switching to zero-cost EFTPOS may require renegotiating contracts with payment processors and understanding the terms and conditions of the new agreement.

Challenges and Considerations

While zero-cost EFTPOS offers apparent benefits, several challenges and considerations warrant attention:

  • Surcharging Regulations: Regulations governing surcharging vary by jurisdiction and can impact the legality and implementation of zero-cost EFTPOS models.
  • Customer Experience: Transparent communication about surcharges is crucial to maintaining positive customer relationships and avoiding surprises at the point of sale.
  • Long-Term Viability: The sustainability of zero-cost EFTPOS models depends on the ability of providers to offset transaction costs through alternative revenue streams.

Is Zero-Cost EFTPOS Truly Free?

Critics argue that zero-cost EFTPOS models may not deliver on their promise of eliminating fees entirely. Instead, costs may be shifted and absorbed in other ways, such as higher service fees or surcharges for certain payment methods. Businesses considering zero-cost EFTPOS should carefully evaluate the total cost implications and weigh them against potential savings.

Choosing the Right EFTPOS Solution

When selecting an EFTPOS solution, businesses should consider:

  • Fee Structure: Compare transaction fees, surcharge options, and any additional costs associated with different providers.
  • Service Reliability: Ensure the EFTPOS system is reliable and compatible with your business operations, including integration with POS systems and customer support.
  • Compliance: Stay informed about legal and regulatory requirements related to payment processing, including surcharging practices.


Zero-cost EFTPOS represents a potentially transformative approach to payment processing, offering businesses the opportunity to reduce transaction fees and optimize financial operations. However, it is essential for businesses to carefully assess the implications, including customer perception and regulatory compliance. By understanding the nuances of zero-cost EFTPOS and choosing the right solution for their needs, businesses can leverage technology to enhance efficiency and profitability in an increasingly digital economy.

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