Media Release Proposed Establishment of an Australian Payments Council and User Consultation Group

The Reserve Bank and the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) are initiating a joint consultation on a proposal to establish a new payments industry coordination body, the Australian Payments Council. The proposed Council will be a senior-level body capable of taking a strategic perspective on issues of importance to the payments system, as well as engaging in a dialogue on those issues with the Payments System Board. In conjunction with the establishment of the Payments Council, the Reserve Bank will also launch a new User Consultation Group. This will provide a more structured mechanism for users of the payments system to express views on payments system issues as an input to the Reserve Bank's policy formulation process.

The proposed establishment of the Australian Payments Council follows the release by the Payments System Board of the conclusions of the Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System in 2012. The conclusions highlighted the inherent challenges to achieving effective industry coordination on major strategic issues and sought new industry governance arrangements that might overcome these. Both the Reserve Bank and APCA undertook informal consultations on possible approaches in the second half of 2012 and have been jointly working on a proposal for the new body. A consultation paper outlining the proposal is available on APCA's website. Responses are requested by 18 November 2013.

Reflecting its focus on improving industry coordination, the Australian Payments Council will be made up of diverse parties from within the payments industry, including financial institutions, payment schemes and other payment and service providers. The Reserve Bank considers it equally important that users of the payments system (consumers, merchants, businesses and government agencies) also have an effective mechanism for contributing to decisions about the payments system. The Bank is therefore seeking expressions of interest from organisations that would like to participate in a new User Consultation Group, which will meet with Bank staff on a regular basis to discuss payments system issues and development.

Expressions of interest from organisations wishing to participate in the proposed User Consultation Group can be provided to:

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


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