APCA played a pivotal role in co-ordinating the industry effort to establish EFTPOS Payments Australia Limited. This new company has commercial responsibility for managing and promoting EFTPOS.
EFTPOS is Australia’s PIN-based debit card system. It is mainly used by consumers to pay for purchases and withdraw extra cash from their savings and cheque accounts at merchant terminals. EFTPOS is separate from the card payment systems owned and operated by the international card schemes (for example Visa and MasterCard).
As with all of its clearing systems, APCA has a role to provide coordination and support for the technical standards, security and operational processing of EFTPOS. Up till now, however, no single entity has been responsible for the system’s promotion.
To ensure EFTPOS remains viable over the long-term, the industry began work on enhancing the system’s governance structure in late 2007. The Reserve Bank of Australia was supportive of this initiative, making the observation in its Conclusions of the 2007/08 Review (September 2008) that the EFTPOS system was at a disadvantage when competing with international card schemes because of its governance arrangements. Subsequently, in April 2009, the industry agreed to set up a new company with a clear decision-making structure and a commercial focus to strengthen the competiveness of EFTPOS.
EFTPOS Payments Australia has 14 initial members: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Australian Settlements Limited, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Cashcard, Citigroup, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Coles Group, Cuscal, Indue, National Australia Bank, Suncorp-Metway, Westpac Banking Corporation and Woolworths. It operates independently from APCA and has its own board and management team.
APCA is providing transitional support to the company during its establishment phase.