Payment Card Access Regimes: Conclusions – March 2014 Implementation and Conclusion

For reasons set out below, a staged approach to implementation of the varied Access Regimes, in line with Option 2, will be necessary.

First, the proposed framework will require changes to the Banking Regulations 1966 to remove Regulation 4, which determines credit card issuing and acquiring in the MasterCard and Visa systems to be banking business. The Bank and APRA will need to work with the Treasury to seek to achieve this outcome. The Bank considers it sensible to align the effective dates of the two changes as far as possible. Amendment of the Regimes will take place when it is clear that the necessary amendments to the Banking Regulations will occur.

Second, as noted in the previous section, the Bank intends to liaise with APCA to seek to ensure that removal of the SCCI framework does not have adverse consequences for participation in the BECS system.

Third, the separate Access Regime for the Visa Debit System was imposed subsequent to the initial Regimes, to deal with concerns expressed by Visa about the interaction of its rules and the credit card Access Regime. The Bank has asked Visa to investigate whether an access regime remains necessary for the Visa Debit system.

Given the above factors, immediate implementation of the varied Access Regimes is not feasible. Nonetheless, the Bank wishes to provide greater certainty about the direction of regulation for the schemes, ADIs and potential entrants. The Payments System Board has therefore approved variation of the Access Regimes for the MasterCard and Visa credit card systems in the form set out in Attachment 1, subject to resolution of the first two issues above. In relation to the Visa Debit Access Regime, the Board has approved alternate approaches contingent on Visa's assessment of its ongoing need: if still required, it will be varied consistent with the credit card Access Regime variations; if not, it will be revoked.