Media Release Proposed Variation to the Access Regime for the ATM System

The Reserve Bank's Payments System Board is initiating a public consultation on a draft variation to the Access Regime for the ATM System. The proposed variation will provide the Reserve Bank with greater flexibility to grant exemptions for ATM arrangements that would otherwise be counter to the interchange fee provisions of the Access Regime. It is anticipated that this flexibility could be used to facilitate the recently announced scheme to reduce the sizeable expenditure on ATM fees by residents of very remote Indigenous communities. Elements of this scheme might otherwise be prohibited under the Access Regime. Under the proposed variation, the Bank would need to be satisfied that an ATM arrangement was appropriate, having regard to the public interest and other factors set out in the Access Regime, before an exemption could be granted.

A joint Treasury/Reserve Bank Taskforce examined issues related to ATM access in very remote Indigenous communities. Flowing from this work, ATM industry participants have been working to develop a scheme to reduce the sizeable expenditure on ATM fees by residents of communities who lack access to adequate banking services, which was identified by the Taskforce as a key concern. The scheme was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer and the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, along with the Australian Bankers' Association, on 25 May.

A short paper outlines the proposal to vary the Access Regime and invites comments from interested parties.

Formal written submissions in relation to the variation to the Access Regime should be provided by no later than 13 July 2012 and should be sent to:

Head of Payments Policy Department
Reserve Bank of Australia
GPO Box 3947
Sydney NSW 2001


Submissions provided by email should be contained in a separate document, in PDF, Word or equivalent format.

In the normal course of events, submissions will be posted on the Reserve Bank's website and those making submissions will be provided with an opportunity to discuss their submission with the Bank.


Media Office
Information Department
Reserve Bank of Australia

Phone: +61 2 9551 9720
Fax: +61 2 9551 8033