Consultations Proposed Variations to the MasterCard and Visa Access Regimes December 2013

In December 2013, the Payments System Board 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 2013. 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 sought 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. The Bank sought views from interested parties on the proposed variations to the Regimes by 17 January 2014.