Media Release Consultation on Payment Card Access Regimes

At its May 2013 meeting, the Payments System Board decided to hold a consultation on the access regimes applying to the MasterCard credit and the Visa credit and Visa debit systems.

The access regimes were originally introduced by the Reserve Bank as part of its payments system reforms in 2004 and 2005. These access regimes were designed to expand access for issuer and acquirer participants in the card schemes in Australia and stemmed from the concern that the schemes' restrictions on entry had not struck the right balance between competition in the payments system and the financial safety of the schemes, and were therefore not in the public interest. The access regimes have allowed new entrants that would otherwise have been ineligible for scheme membership to participate in the card schemes without compromising the financial safety of the schemes.

However, recent developments suggest that the access regimes in their current form may no longer be fulfilling their original objective, and may now be preventing some prospective scheme participants from entry. Accordingly, the Board concluded that there may be scope for modification or revocation of the regimes.

A short paper outlines possible options for the Bank's access regimes.

Formal written submissions by no later than 8 July 2013 are welcome and should be sent to:

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


Submissions may be posted on the Reserve Bank's website and those making submissions will be provided with an opportunity to discuss their submission with Reserve Bank staff.


Media Office
Information Department
Reserve Bank of Australia

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