Business site - Trading, Investing & Stock markets

Accc warns aussie motorists to fill up ahead of petrol price hike

DRIVERS may want to fill up at the servo in coming days with Australian petrol prices set to surge.

The consumer watchdog says petrol prices are rising on the back the worlds oil producing nations mid-December agreement to cut production.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said the falling Australian dollar was also likely to push up the prices consumers pay for fuel in Australian.

The ACCC is concerned that petrol prices are increasing in Sydney, and those in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide may increase in the coming days, so motorists should get in early, shop around, and consider filling their tanks before prices jump, Mr Sims said.

The ACCC said its research also shows that traditionally petrol prices rise sharply before Christmas before dropping off and then creep up again in late January.

Mr Sims said drivers could use information on capital city price cycles on the ACCC website to determine the best time to purchase petrol and use fuel price apps to determine the lower priced sites in their area.

Motorists are advised to consider purchasing now when petrol prices are relatively low or have not yet reached their peak, and not wait until they need to fill up, he said.

Aussies are clicking away to pay their bills as they shift away from phone and inperson payments

MANY consumers are paying their bills with a click of a few buttons as paying in-person or over the phone diminishes, but there are ways to make sure you do it safely.

Internet banking has advanced in recent years; banks invest millions of dollars in technology to ensure its a safe and secure way to pay your bills.

New findings from financial comparison website RateCity show that almost three-quarters of Aussies go online to pay bills while about one in 10 opt to use their mobile or smartphone app.

Only 4 per cent pick up the phone to pay a bill using phone banking services.

However some generations particularly older Aussies are still nervous about paying their bills using technology and many opt for the old-fashioned way to pay in person at the post office or at a bank branch.

RateCity spokesman Peter Arnold says with the advancement of technology, consumers shouldnt be concerned when it comes to using technology to pay.

The banks have invested a lot of money into payment security as more people are paying things online and using digital methods,’ he says.

Phone banking was one of the earlier non-in-person types of payments but now we are seeing that overshadowed by online banking being more the norm with a real wide spread adopters of that.

Arnold says using technology can usually result in a customer avoiding being hit with a charge that they would otherwise be slugged with for paying by person.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commissions senior executive leader in financial literacy, Miles Larbey, says while theres been an increase in people paying bills online and on their smartphone they do have to make sure they are doing it safely.

Every time you are transacting online or through a computer or mobile phone there are a few things to bear in mind. Make sure the website you are using is a secure website,’ he says.

Be careful about the content or applications you are downloading because they could contain malicious software and it could affect your device.

And always make sure you log out after you do a transaction.