Media Release Reform of Card Payment Systems

The Reserve Bank has responsibility under the Reserve Bank Act 1959 to promote competition and efficiency in the Australian payments system and the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998 gives it a range of powers to do so.

Exercise of the Reserve Bank's powers involves two steps. The first is ‘designation’ of a payment system as subject to the Reserve Bank's regulation. The second is the determination of ‘standards’ or the imposition of an ‘access regime’. In taking these steps the Reserve Bank is required to have regard to the public interest.

In 2000 the Reserve Bank, together with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, published a study on Debit and Credit Card Schemes in Australia which dealt with credit card schemes, EFTPOS and ‘foreign’ ATM transactions. The study identified a need for improvement in competition and efficiency in the payments system. In the case of credit cards, the Bank designated the relevant schemes in 2001 and implemented standards in 2002 and access regimes in 2004. In February 2004, the Bank designated the Visa debit payment system.

The Reserve Bank is now considering whether it would be in the public interest for it to designate the EFTPOS payment system and the ATM payment system in Australia. Doing so would be a precursor to the Bank deciding whether to determine standards and/or impose access regimes that would promote efficiency and competition in the Australian payments system. Before it decides whether to designate the EFTPOS or ATM systems, the Bank is seeking the views of interested parties on whether designation would be in the public interest. Submissions should be made to:

Head of Payments Policy
Reserve Bank of Australia
65 Martin Place


They should be lodged by 9 July 2004 and will be posted on the Reserve Bank's website. The Bank will provide the opportunity for discussion with parties that make submissions.


Dr John Veale
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 9720
Fax: +61 2 9221 5528