Rounding and EFTPOS transactions

11 December 2000

Businesses were today reminded of the rules of rounding in dealing with small change in transactions, particularly EFTPOS transactions.

"When it comes to rounding of small change in transaction, businesses are still confused", ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.

"In 1991 the Prices Surveillance Authority, now part of the ACCC, released the guideline The Withdrawal of Copper Coins to help both businesses and consumers in the transition process leading to the withdrawal of one and two cent pieces.

"This guideline provided that where a consumer elected to purchase goods or services for cash and one and two cent pieces were unavailable it would be necessary to round the final payment".

Under the Guideline the following rounding principles apply to cash transactions:

  • 1 & 2 cents – rounded DOWN to the nearest 10
  • 3 & 4 cents – rounded UP to the nearest 5
  • 6 & 7 cents – rounded DOWN to the nearest 5
  • 8 & 9 cents – rounded UP to the nearest 10

"However the Guideline clearly stated that where a consumer elected to pay by way of cheque, credit card or EFTPOS it was unnecessary for businesses to round the total value of the transaction.

"The ACCC is concerned by the continuing nature of these complaints, particularly as it suggests that items are not available for the price at which they are advertised. This may contravene the consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and businesses should be aware that the Act gives consumers rights of private action in relation to such matters".

Release number: 
MR 343/00
ACCC Infocentre: 

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