Regulations

Notice

In May 2016 the Reserve Bank released three new standards on merchant pricing (surcharging), and interchange fees for credit, debit and prepaid cards. The standard on merchant pricing commenced on 1 September 2016 although some clauses will not apply until June or September 2017. The standards on interchange fees will commence on 1 July 2017. In the meantime, previous standards continue to apply. For more information please see the Questions & Answers page or the section on Payments Card Regulation.

Under Part 3 of the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998, the Reserve Bank may designate a payment system if it considers that designating the system is in the public interest. It may then impose an access regime or establish standards to be complied with by participants in the system. This page provides links to designations, standards, interchange fee benchmarks calculated in accordance with standards, access regimes, exemptions from the interchange fee provisions of the Access Regime for the ATM System and relevant media releases.

Some organisations have provided written undertakings to the Reserve Bank in relation to standards determined under section 18 of the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998. These undertakings are listed here for completeness because they affect the operation of the relevant payment systems even though they have not been directly regulated.

Payment Cards Regulation

Designations
Title System Commencement Date Date of Gazettal Media Release
Designation of MasterCard system MasterCard 12 Apr 2001 12 Apr 2001 2001-09
Designation of VISA system Visa 12 Apr 2001 12 Apr 2001 2001-09
Designation of Visa debit Visa Debit 23 Feb 2004 23 Feb 2004 2004-01
Designation No.1 of 2012 EFTPOS
(Narrow definition)
12 Jun 2012 12 Jun 2012 2012-15
Designation No.1 of 2015 American Express companion cards 15 Oct 2015 15 Oct 2015 2015-19
Designation No.2 of 2015 Debit MasterCard 15 Oct 2015 15 Oct 2015 2015-19
Designation No.3 of 2015 EFTPOS prepaid 15 Oct 2015 15 Oct 2015 2015-19
Designation No.4 of 2015 MasterCard prepaid 15 Oct 2015 15 Oct 2015 2015-19
Designation No.5 of 2015 Visa prepaid 15 Oct 2015 15 Oct 2015 2015-19
Standards
Title System Commencement Date Date of Gazettal/Registration Media Release
Standard: The Setting of Wholesale (‘Interchange’) Fees in the Designated Credit Card Schemes (Compilation) MasterCard,
Visa
1 Jul 2006 27 Apr 2006
Variation:
10 Dec 2008
2006-02

2008-28
Standard: The Setting of Interchange Fees in the Visa Debit Payment System (Compilation)1 Visa Debit 7 Jul 2006 7 Jul 2006
Variation:
10 Dec 2008
2006-04

2008-28
Standard: Interchange Fees in the EFTPOS System EFTPOS
(Narrow definition)
1 Jul 2013 5 Dec 2012 2012-35
Standard No 3 of 2016: Scheme Rules Relating to Merchant Pricing for Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Transactions All designated systems 1 Sep 2016 26 May 2016 2016-15
1. In July 2006, MasterCard provided the Reserve Bank with a written undertaking to voluntarily comply with the Debit Interchange Standard, and with the ‘Honour All Cards’ and ‘No Surcharge’ Standard. This undertaking was revised in January 2014 to reflect changes to the Surcharging Standards that became effective in March 2013. This undertaking was updated in September 2016 to reflect the RBA's revised Surcharging Standard.
Forthcoming Standards
Title System Commencement Date Date of
Registration
Media Release
Standard No 1 of 2016: The Setting of Interchange Fees in the Designated Credit Card Schemes and Net Payments to Issuers MasterCard, Visa, American Express Companion Cards 1 Jul 2017 26 May 2016 2016-15
Standard No 2 of 2016: The Setting of Interchange Fees in the Designated Debit and Prepaid Card Schemes and Net Payments to Issuers Visa Debit, EFTPOS, Debit MasterCard, EFTPOS prepaid, MasterCard prepaid, Visa prepaid 1 Jul 2017 26 May 2016 2016-15
Access Regimes
Title System Commencement Date Date of Gazettal Media Release
Access Regime MasterCard 23 Feb 2004 23 Feb 2004
Variation:

1 Jan 2015
2004-02

2014-22
Access Regime Visa 23 Feb 2004 23 Feb 2004
Variation:

1 Jan 2015
2004-02

2014-22
Interchange Fee Benchmarks
System Commencement
Date
Benchmark Media Release
MasterCard, Visa 1 Nov 2006 0.50 per cent of transaction value 2006-08
Visa Debit or PDF 1 Nov 2006 12 cents per transaction 2006-08
EFTPOS System (Narrow definition) – Bilateral fees 1 Jul 2013 Same as the Visa Debit benchmark: 12 cents per transaction 2012-35
EFTPOS System (Narrow definition) – Multilateral fees 1 Jul 2013 Same as the Visa Debit benchmark: 12 cents per transaction 2012-35
The Bank has waived the requirement to recalculate these benchmarks for the 2015/16 year. The Bank has previously waived the requirement for the 2009/10 and 2012/13 years. New interchange fee standards will come into effect on 1 July 2017.
Undertakings
Title System Commencement Date Media Release
Undertaking No.1 of 2016: The ‘Honour All Cards’ Rule in the Designated MasterCard Credit, Debit and Prepaid Systems MasterCard Credit, Debit and Prepaid 1 Sep 2016
Undertaking No.2 of 2016: The ‘Honour All Cards’ Rule in the Designated Visa Credit, Debit and Prepaid Systems VISA Credit, Debit and Prepaid 1 Sep 2016
Undertaking No.3 of 2016: Merchant Pricing for American Express Proprietary Card Transactions American Express 2 Sep 2016 2002-15
Undertaking No.4 of 2016: Merchant Pricing for Diners Club Card Transactions Diners Club 14 Oct 2016 2002-15
Debit MasterCard Undertaking Debit MasterCard 6 Jan 2014 2006-04
The original undertakings by American Express and Diners Club were provided in August 2002. The American Express undertaking was revised in 2004 following a corporate restructure. Both were revised in 2013 to reflect changes to the Surcharging Standards that became effective in March 2013, and subsequently updated to reflect the RBA's revised Surcharging Standard.

ATM System

Regulations
Title Commencement Date Date of Gazettal Media Release
Designation 10 Dec 2008 10 Dec 2008 2008-28
Access Regime (Compilation) 3 Mar 2009 24 Feb 2009
Variation:
29 Aug 2012
2009-03

2012-24
Exemptions from Paragraphs 11 and/or 12 of the
Access Regime for the ATM System
Exemption Number Description Commencement Date
No 1 of 2009 Arrangement between Cashcard Limited and Bank of Western Australia Limited in relation to Commonwealth Bank of Australia. 16 Jul 2009
No 1 of 2012 Arrangement among ATM industry participants in relation to ATM access for very remote Indigenous communities. 29 Aug 2012
The Reserve Bank may grant an exemption to a participant in the ATM system from any or all of the requirements of paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Access Regime for the ATM System in accordance with paragraph 16 of the Access Regime.