APCA was incorporated on 18 February 1992, but traces its history back through earlier reform processes.
Government inquiries into the financial system (Campbell in 1981 and Martin in 1983) made recommendation for reforms to the payments system. Among other issues, the inquiries called for a more level playing field for participants in payments clearing.
The reform process was initiated by the Australian Bankers’ Association in the mid 1980s and then, beginning in the late 1980s, progressed by the Reform of the Clearing System Steering Committee (ROCS) chaired by the Reserve Bank.
The deliberations of ROCS led to the establishment of APCA in 1992 as a self-regulatory industry body charged with carrying forward the process of reform.
In its early years, APCA focused on re-grouping payment services into distinct clearing systems and developing and managing rules and procedures for their day-to-day operation. In its next phase, APCA took responsibility for managing projects and for contingency planning, certification and accreditation. These kinds of activities remain core business for APCA.
In more recent years, APCA’s role has evolved to include strategic direction and regulatory policy for the Australian payments system.
Over APCA’s history, Australia's payment systems have grown to be highly efficient, reliable and safe. The time line below charts some of the developments.