Look out for unexpected international transaction fees

How to avoid the extra costs of shopping online.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned online shoppers to look out for unexpected international transaction fees when shopping online.

Some websites with a “.com.au” domain name or that appear to be Australian-based, may process transactions overseas, meaning shoppers could be charged an international transaction fee for a purchase made in Australian dollars.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said retailers should clearly inform shoppers when they were likely to be charged an international transaction fee.

“It is unclear to many consumers whether a retailer processes transactions overseas, so we expect retailers to make this clear to consumers on their websites,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims urged shoppers to check their bank statements for unexpected fees.

HOW TO AVOID EFTPOS BANK FEES

“Consumers who have been charged an unexpected international transaction fee for a purchase in Australian dollars from a website that appears Australian-based or has an Australian domain name should query the fee with their bank and report it to the ACCC.”

Mr Sims said there were options to avoid international transaction fees.

“If you are making regular purchases with overseas businesses, it may be worth considering a credit or debit card with no international transaction fees or asking your bank to block international transactions for certain cards,” he said.