SYDNEY, AAP – Three popular payments providers will be allowed to merge despite concerns charges for transactions could rise.

BPAY Group, Eftpos Payments and NPP Australia will join forces after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Thursday allowed the bid.

Opponents of the merger are concerned about what will happen to the Eftpos service, which in many cases provides a cheaper alternative to using the Mastercard and Visa networks.

To allay these concerns, the payments providers have pledged Eftpos will make least-cost routing available for four years. This allows users to choose the network they use.

The ACCC has accepted the pledge, which can be enforced by a court.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said rapid change was happening in payments and the ACCC was satisfied the merger would not have an adverse impact on Eftpos services.

The rising popularity of buy now, pay later providers has challenged long-standing payments companies.

The Reserve Bank will also ensure those making payments can choose which network they use.

The big four banks are the major shareholders in the payments providers.

BPAY provides bill payments. Eftpos allows card payments at shops. NPPA (New Payments Platform Australia) allows payments between accounts.