Why is eftpos advertising choosing cheque and savings?

Driving through Sydney today I spotted an ad in a bus shelter promoting eftpos, you know, the “cheque or savings” option on a point of sale (pos) terminal in a shop.

It made me wonder why this service (that is free to a customer) would actually pay to market its services. Where was the payback?

A little digging around the web revealed why – eftpos do get fees from customers using their system, but not from customers themselves (like with the now common credit card surcharge) but rather from retailers. Australian PR company Sefiani reveals on their blog that eftpos charges are in fact a flat 5c for all non-charity transactions over $15 (source here).

So it’s in the best interests of eftpos Payments Australia Limited (ePAL) to get more customers to select cheque or savings rather than credit when making a card purchase. Hence the M&C Saachi campaign that is now on TV and outdoor media (official press release).

Seems obvious when looking back at it, but I had to google a bit before coming to this conclusion so I thought I’d share my findings.