Media Release Consultation on Variations to the MasterCard and Visa Access Regimes

The Payments System Board has initiated a consultation on possible changes to access arrangements for the MasterCard credit, Visa credit and Visa Debit systems, including draft variations to the Reserve Bank's Access Regimes for those systems. This follows a preliminary consultation on the issue which began in May.

The existing access framework was implemented in 2004 and 2005. It has allowed new entrants that would otherwise have been ineligible for 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 could unnecessarily be preventing some prospective participants from entry.

The Bank is seeking feedback on draft variations to the Access Regimes, which would allow MasterCard and Visa to widen eligibility for membership of their respective systems. Eligibility criteria would nonetheless need to be transparent and reflect risk considerations. Reporting to the Bank on access developments would also be required.

A short paper discusses options for reform and the proposed changes to the Access Regimes in more detail.

Formal written submissions by no later than 17 January 2014 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 Bank staff.


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Reserve Bank of Australia

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