Payment Card Access Regimes: Conclusions – March 2014 Options

Following feedback on potential options discussed in the preliminary consultation paper in May, the December consultation paper presented three options:

  • the status quo (Option 1)
  • removal of the SCCI framework in conjunction with the imposition of some constraints on the schemes via the Access Regimes (Option 2)
  • the removal of all access regulation (Option 3).

The variations to the Access Regimes proposed under Option 2 are as follows:

  • ADIs and entities that were SCCIs as at a specified date (‘former SCCIs’) would be eligible to participate in the schemes
  • each scheme would have the ability to make other entities eligible; to do so a scheme would establish eligibility criteria that are reasonably related to the risks to the scheme, its participants, merchants or cardholders
  • each scheme would retain the ability to establish and apply any criteria to assess applications from eligible applicants for participation in the scheme in Australia
  • each scheme would continue to be prohibited from discriminating between ADIs and former SCCIs in setting and applying its assessment criteria and in relation to the rights and obligations of participants
  • the above ‘no-discrimination’ provision would be extended to cover any entity or class of entity, but this would not prevent discrimination that is reasonably required to assess and address risk
  • each scheme would be required to publish on its website: its eligibility and assessment criteria and the risks the criteria seek to address; and the maximum time it will take to make a decision on any application
  • an annual certificate would be required from each scheme, detailing its compliance with the Access Regime and information about applications to participate (e.g. date of each application and its outcome, date of notification to the applicant and reasons for rejecting an application). A list of entities that ceased to be participants in each scheme during the year would also be required, together with the reasons they are no longer participants.