BANK CHARGES: WESFARMERS sneakily changes the rules on using Pay Wave

The entire Wesfarmers Group including Coles,and Bunnings (“Australia’s most trusted retailer”) has made an unannounced software change that will very likely generate excess bank charges when customers use Pay Wave at ANY of their businesses. From 1 October 2019, customers using Pay Wave as a touch service on any EFTPOS machine will find that their Visa Debit or similar MasterCard setup is recording the transaction as a savings transaction rather than as a credit transaction. Fee-free limits on savings transactions can easily be exceeded without customers being aware of the fact until they check their end of month statements.

This type of sneaky behaviour evidently must benefit Wesfarmers by eliminating credit card charges on many millions of transactions. However it goes against the agreement with retailers and consumers since Pay Wave was introduced. Woolworths tried a similar stunt after Pay Wave came in some years ago and then back off after a social media explosion of condemnation.

There is a way around this rort. Don’t use Pay Wave. Insert your card and select Credit. But still check your bank statement.


Hi @HughC, welcome to the forum and your contribution.

If anyone wishes to know more about the changes, this website summaries the change…

@HughC indicated, card present transactions where a cardholder inserts the card and selects ‘Credit’ or ‘Visa Debit’ transactions will continue to be routed via Visa or Mastercard networks. This still means that by pressing ‘Credit’ or ‘Visa Debit’ you will not affect one’s free Debit transactions a month.


If I am reading correctly the link @phb kindly posted, this only applies to debit cards:
This change will process contactless multinetwork debit card transactions (Visa payWave) via the eftpos network


That appears the case. It appears to only apply to debit cards issued by the credit card companies such as Visa Debit or Mastercard Debit cards. These cards will have Visa, Mastercard etc on the front of them.

Some banking accounts have a limited number of free transactions which a consumer can use their debit card (through EFTPOS) before card use charges occur.

Another option is to contact one’s bank/financial institution and request that the limits on the number of transactions be removed (make them unlimited). If they don’t initially agree, indicate that you assess your banking options and may move to a bank which does offer better fee structures including unlimited eftpos transactions. This may prompt them to change their mind. We have done this ourselves and our bank has removed all frees and charges (including monthly fees - on aour accounts the monthly fee is deduced and then refunded at the same time) from our accounts.


Life used to be simple until about 1970 when credit cards found their way to Australia in volume.

Adding to the combinations already posted, depending on one’s bank and accounts, sometimes a credit card can function as a debit card. If the card can go credit, cheque, or savings depending on the button at the ATM or when inserted into a POS terminal, what will paywave default to since it is not a debit card, but is a debit card?


Just my topic!
Over the past few months I have been repeatedly charged ‘Interest charged-Retail’ on my Visa credit card. It is gradually sneaking up until today’s statement…$41.39. What, one wonders do we pay for when we acquire credit cards? Credit? No? What then? Are we now only permitted to shop in certain places to use this credit these days?
Another popular money making exercise is also creeping back. I forgot the date in October and was two days late … fine of thirty dollars even though there was no reminder needed or sent. November brought a (local) Bank outage of some sort so I was an hour late… another $30!

What a fascinating fact that during the Royal Commission (not thought necessary by the now PM), the fee was $10…for yet another (L) Bank outage… Interesting!

AMP is continuing to claw fees … for nothing. I suppose they have to make money somewhere to pay their board members $1,000,000 annually… The rest of us perhaps just chose the wrong profession.
For the continued losses of their company, perhaps an equally large fine for non performance…?

Difficult to contact Banks when their call lines are manned by O/S people with some difficulty understanding English.


When you are late because of ‘bank down’ I trust you are claiming any fees incurred from that bank.


I wonder how this affects users of Apple/Google pay (since they also have their own fee structures)

No, I thought it would be a pointless exercise. Perhaps they would hold it against me when I apply to change my credit card to their Bank which I intend doing once I can redeem all of my reward points with the money grabbers. Problem solved then. Hopefully the local bank could be trusted to have automatic payments of their own credit card …but then, can anyone trust any Bank these days. Perhaps today’s events will sort out some problems…