The Department of Minerals and Energy has published draft regulations for comment on changing the law to allow petrol purchases with credit cards. If you wanna respond then you gotta write it down and send it in before the 30th of May 2009. Previously it has been illegal to pay for petrol with a regular credit card. This is due to petrol prices being set by government and the cost of using a card is carried by retailers and credit card holders get benefits from their cards. This amounts to a discount for consumers or a burden for retailers which would skew the pricing as established by Government. Now the Government want to open it up for the World Cup 2010. So if they do what should you do?
The draft regulation contains this clause: 'The costs to a retailer arising from the acceptance of payment in the form of debit, credit and hybrid cards must not exceed the costs of cash as a form of payment determined by the Department of Minerals and Energy on an annual basis'. The difficulty here is that the cost of paying via a credit card will have to be picked up by someone. If the petrol stations are not supposed to pay over the cost of cash will the banks meet this and allow free transactions on petrol purchases? This seems highly unlikely.
Further the Petro card setup we have at the moment charges interest on all purchases from time of purchase rather than allowing an interest free period like most regular credit cards have. Would this continue or would the banks extend the interest free period to fuel purchases and could this then be used to offset the transaction cost that the proposed law stipulates is to not be more than the cash cost? The commentary period is almost over so if you want to have your say write it down and send it to the Department. This law could change how you budget for petrol and have long reaching effects so get involved.