Reform of Australia's Payments System List of tables

Table 1: Payments System Reforms - as at April 2008
Interchange fees
Credit cards

Weighted-average interchange fees in the MasterCard and Visa schemes must not exceed 0.50 per cent of the value of transactions.

MasterCard and Visa must publish their actual credit card interchange fees.

Visa Debit

The weighted-average interchange fee for Visa Debit transactions must not exceed 12 cents per transaction.

Visa must publish its actual debit card interchange fees.

EFTPOS EFTPOS interchange fees for transactions that do not involve a cash-out component must be between 4 and 5 cents per transaction.
Merchant restrictions

Visa is not permitted to require a merchant to accept Visa Debit cards as a condition of accepting Visa credit cards, or vice versa.

Visa Debit cards must be visually and electronically identifiable as debit cards, and acquirers must provide merchants with information required to electronically distinguish Visa Debit and Visa credit card transactions.

Surcharges The card schemes must not prohibit a merchant from imposing a surcharge for MasterCard or Visa credit card transactions, or for Visa Debit card transactions.
Access Regimes
Credit cards and
Visa Debit

Schemes must treat applications for membership from Specialist Credit Card Institutions on the same basis as those from traditional authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs).

A participant in the MasterCard or Visa credit card schemes, or the Visa Debit system, must not be penalised by the scheme based on the level of its card issuing activity relative to its acquiring activity, or vice versa.

Schemes must make available the criteria for assessing applications to participate in the MasterCard credit card system, or the Visa credit or debit card systems. The schemes must: assess applications in a timely manner; provide applicants with an estimate of the time it will take to assess an application; and provide reasons for rejected applications.


The price of establishing a standard direct connection with another participant must not exceed a benchmark published by the Reserve Bank, currently $78,000 (ex GST).

An existing acquirer (issuer) cannot require a new issuer (acquirer) to pay (accept) a less favourable interchange fee than any other issuer (acquirer) connected to the acquirer (issuer).

Voluntary Undertakings
American Express and Diners Club American Express and Diners Club have provided the Bank with written undertakings to remove restrictions in their credit and/or charge card schemes preventing merchants from charging any fee or surcharge for the use of a card.
American Express American Express has provided the Bank with a commitment to modify provisions in its merchant contracts that would otherwise prevent a merchant from ‘steering’ a customer's choice of payment instrument. Also, in the event that American Express introduces a debit card in Australia, the merchant agreements and pricing for that product will be separate to those for credit and charge cards.
MasterCard MasterCard has provided the Bank with a written undertaking to voluntarily comply with the Visa Debit interchange Standard and the honour-all-cards Standard as they apply to credit and debit card transactions, as well as the Standard on surcharging as it applies to debit card transactions.
EFTPOS Access Code Under the EFTPOS Access Code developed by the Australian Payments Clearing Association, new and existing EFTPOS participants have specific rights to establish direct connections with other participants within a set time frame.
Scheme data Since August 2005 the Bank has published aggregated data on the average merchant fee for each of the schemes as well as data on market shares.