One bank says it will temporarily waive the fee on contactless debit payments for its small business customers.
But others are yet to make a move despite mounting pressure to drop the fees they charge to encourage more businesses to sign up for contactless which would mean fewer people having to touch keypads.
Yesterday Greg Harford, chief executive of Retail New Zealand, joined Mark Rushworth, Lance Wiggs, Dean Hall and other entrepreneurs calling for the fees to be removed during the pandemic.
Harford told Newstalk ZB the World Health Organisation had backed contactless as a good idea to avoid people getting sick amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"Contactless technology means you are not exposing yourself to as many germs."
But many retailers still don't offer contactless because of perceptions over the cost which average around 1.1 to 1.2 per cent per transaction.
Late yesterday ANZ, New Zealand's largest bank said it would be providing free contactless debit transactions for small business customers until June 30.
A spokesman for the bank said this would be available for new and existing business banking customers.
Businesses will still have to pay charges for contactless credit card payments which are higher than debit card payments.
Research by Retail New Zealand in 2018 found the average merchant fee in New Zealand was 1.6 per cent of the value of a transaction for credit cards - double the 0.8 per cent charged in Australia where they are regulated.
For contactless debit cards, the fee averaged 1.2 per cent in New Zealand and 0.6 per cent in Australia - where Paywave is nearly the norm.
Other banks have yet to make any changes to the contactless payment charges.
A BNZ spokesman said fees for contactless payments were made up of a range of different components, some of which were under its control and some that were at an industry level.
"We are definitely hearing the feedback around reducing fees and are looking at what we can do."
A spokesman for Westpac New Zealand said it had a range of options available to support business customers suffering disruption due to coronavirus.
"We have a number of pricing options for merchants, and we encourage them to get in touch to ensure they are on the most cost effective plan and to discuss their individual circumstances."
The Westpac spokesman said merchant fees covered the costs of multiple parties other than the acquiring bank, including the card issuers, card schemes and network switches.
Some have also suggested that the transaction limit be lifted from $80 to $200 to widen the number of transactions it captures.
But the Westpac spokesman said the $80 maximum for contactless payments was in place to protect its customers from fraud.
The Herald has also put the issue to ASB.