Media Release Reform of Credit Card Schemes in Australia –
Access Regime

Following a decision by the Payments System Board, the Reserve Bank of Australia has today imposed an Access Regime on each of the three designated credit card schemes in Australia.

The Access Regime requires that specialist credit card institutions supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) be eligible to apply for membership in the designated credit card schemes on the same basis as other authorised deposit-taking institutions. It also requires the removal of certain restrictions and penalties on the credit card acquiring activity of members. An explanatory note and copies of the Gazette notices for the Bankcard, MasterCard and Visa credit card schemes are attached.

Drafts of the Access Regime were made available for public comment in December 2001 and July 2003 and the Bank has taken comments received into account in finalising it.

The Access Regime completes implementation of the Reserve Bank's package of reforms to promote efficiency and competition in the provision of credit card payment services in Australia announced in August 2002.


John Veale
Acting Assistant Governor (Financial System)
Reserve Bank of Australia

Phone: +61 2 9551 8510

Michele Bullock
Acting Head of Payments Policy
Reserve Bank of Australia

Phone: +61 2 9551 8710

Manager, Media Office
Information Department
Reserve Bank of Australia

Phone: +61 2 9551 8111
Fax: +61 2 9221 5528