Q&As

Dhun Karai on the impact of the new RBA payment regulations to retailer

Monday August 28, 2017

Dhun Karai has over 25 years’ experience in senior executive roles at the Commonwealth Bank, Credit Union Services and Woolworths Ltd. She has established herself as a leader in the merchant payments & retail space by implementing the direct-to-issue payments transformation at Woolworths

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Group and POS technology innovation across its 3000+ retail stores and online businesses and successfully implementing new data driven cards rewards programs. She has also provided expert advice to the 2014 Financial Services Inquiry (Payments) and in legislative & regulatory changes in Australia/NZ, the USA and globally.

Dhun has served on the Board/Senior Committees at the Australian Payments Clearing Association, Eftpos Australia Ltd, Australian Merchants Payments Forum and New Zealand Merchants Payments Forum. She was also nominated by the Reserve Bank of Australia as the merchant community representative on the founding of the Australian Payments Council (2014-2016). Currently, Dhun is a member of the global Merchant Acceptances Group, is closely involved with the largest Australian fintech hub Stone & Chalk (as a founding committee member) and a non-executive Director on the ASX-listed PMP Ltd where she is chair of its Finance, Risk & Audit Committee.

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s changes to the cards and payments regulations that came into effect on 1 July is welcome news for retailers. For those that haven’t reviewed their payment contracts recently, now is the time.

These new regulations have potential to significantly reduce the cost of accepting card payments, one of the top five costs of doing business for retailers in Australia. With local retailers facing increasing levels of global competition and technological disruption, such an opportunity to reduce the costs of doing business is an opportunity for local retailers to invest, innovate and be more competitive at a time when margins are tight.

In order to maximise the benefits of the changes that have come into effect, retailers should review the structure of their existing payments arrangements in light of these new regulatory changes. However, these contracts are complex documents that can be difficult to navigate without a comprehensive understanding of the varied payments systems. Add new payments players and digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google wallet, Samsung pay, and even Facebook, and this complexity is increased.

What are the comparison rates and terms of the payment providers? Which providers do my customers use? What number of payments providers is manageable? Can I negotiate better rates with my payments providers? What opportunities do the new regulations provide me and how do I implement them? 

In order to maximise the opportunities created from the new payments regulations recently implemented, and the myriad of payments providers now operating in Australia, it is recommended retailers avoid locking into any new payments contracts without fully understanding the changes, what they mean for your individual business and the options available.

And there is a further hidden opportunity here. By reviewing your payments contracts, not only can you reduce one of the top five costs of doing business, you can also improve your customer experience, by providing the payment options they prefer. “Invisible” payments are now gaining traction and will become ubiquitous in the same way as contactless at point of sale.

Grant Thornton’s Payments Advisory team is able to assist retailers realise the potential benefits for their individual businesses.  Our team, led by a team of experts with extensive experience in retail operations as well as banking is uniquely placed to review the structure of existing payments arrangements to maximise the benefits of the new regulations. The team has leading experience negotiating payments solutions with payment providers on behalf of retailers and implementing payments technology solutions to maximize cost savings.


You can hear more from Dhun at the 2nd Annual Credit Law Symposium being held on Thursday 7 September at Hilton Sydney, 488 George St, Sydney.

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