Review of the Regulatory Framework for the EFTPOS System: Consultation on Options for Reform – June 2012 7. Conclusion and Next Steps

The Board has decided to designate the EFTPOS system, based on a narrow definition of that system focused on EPAL's Scheme Rules. The practical effect of this is that any regulation imposed by the Bank in relation to the new designated EFTPOS system will directly affect only EPAL and its members. This does not mean that debit card transactions cannot occur outside EPAL; rather, that the interchange fee and access arrangements imposed by the Bank on the designated EFTPOS system will not apply to those transactions.

The Bank is now seeking views on the issues discussed in this paper regarding possible provisions in a new access regime and a new interchange fees standard that will relate to the newly designated EFTPOS system. Those issues include:

  • how bilateral interchange fees should now be regulated if a new interchange fees standard is put in place
  • whether no-discrimination provisions regarding interchange fees, in a form equivalent to those in the current Access Regime, are in the public interest
  • what form no-discrimination provisions should take if they are included in a new access regime
  • whether the EFTPOS access charge benchmark is required if industry were able to put in place acceptable
  • and appropriate access arrangements
  • whether, in a new access regime, a recalculated access charge benchmark should become effective sooner than January 2014 (the effective date under the existing Access Regime).

A draft new interchange fees standard and draft new access regime are set out in Attachments 2 and 3, respectively. The draft interchange fees standard reflects the Board's preliminary view on its preferred approach to the regulation of bilateral EFTPOS interchange fees. The draft access regime reflects a possible approach to no-discrimination and access charge provisions, should the Board decide a new access regime is required as part of the future regulatory framework for the EFTPOS system. The draft standard and draft access regime are marked to reflect the differences from the existing interchange fees Standard and Access Regime; though, as a technical matter, it would be necessary to impose a new standard and access regime, to apply to the newly designated EFTPOS system.

The Bank is seeking views on the draft standard and access regime, in addition to the general issues outlined above.

Formal written submissions regarding the review of the regulatory framework for the EFTPOS system should be provided by no later than 31 July 2012 and should be sent to:

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


Submissions provided by email should be in a separate document, in PDF, Word or equivalent format.

In the normal course of events, submissions will be posted on the Reserve Bank's website and those making submissions will be provided with an opportunity to discuss their submission with the Bank.

At this stage the Bank anticipates that a final decision on the regulatory framework will be made towards the end of 2012.