Proposed changes outlined in RBA Review of Retail Payments Regulation

The RBA has released a report that highlights issues in the market that may have significant impacts on choice for consumers and merchants, as well as competition, and potentially add cost to day to day shopping.

As outlined in the May edition of the Networker, eftpos fully understands the importance of its role as an essential part of the national payments infrastructure. We remain committed to providing efficient, cost-effective and market-specific payments solutions for the benefit of all Australians and enhance productivity across the economy.

We will work with the RBA and other industry stakeholders to get the best outcome for Australian merchants and consumers on these important issues.

The basic requirement is that eftpos as a payment option is left on all Australian debit cards as part of every bank’s social obligations in the Australian market. This is fundamental in underpinning choice for consumers, including on mobile, in digital channels like Beem It and online in the very near future.

We are also working very closely with the small business community and FinTech providers who want to innovate and who share eftpos’ unbridled passion for competition, choice and enhanced digital payments functionality to ensure we get the best possible outcomes.

At a time when people are using debit more and credit cards less so they can better manage their money, regulation is needed to ensure Australians have full access to their country’s local debit network – in shops, on mobile and online.


eftpos as a blend of leading-edge initiatives and a trusted national payments network

eftpos Chief Information Officer Ben Tabell explains how eftpos is a national payments network that enables real time payments for business and consumers across the Australian economy, owned and operated by Australians - but it’s also a company at the forefront of multiple leading edge initiatives.

While this may seem paradoxical, eftpos is emerging as a cohesive mix of the two ends of the spectrum.

In ten years, eftpos has evolved from a behind the scenes set of bilateral agreements relevant for point of sale only to a dynamic business, which is innovating and matching capabilities of International Card Schemes (ICS) for local demand at point of sale, for mobile and in online. eftpos has now diversified into a digital wallet and digital identity business, and is developing initiatives including QR code orchestration and a micropayments POC.

And the solid, trusted foundations of the eftpos payments scheme are helping it innovate for the future, in a robust and secure way. 

eftpos Members who participate in an eftpos payment service are required to follow the scheme rules and technical, operational and security rules for that service.

This ensures standard functionality and operations according to common standards for the service, including user experience, consumer protection safeguards, branding and settlement which are documented in our technical, operational and security rules.

Our diverse team has extensive expertise in service delivery within the payments sector and draws on more than 40 years combined experience in payments service delivery and technical support. We have delivered an SLA of 99.999% availability and round the clock support for processing, and in the four years since establishing, the eftpos Hub has never experienced an outage.

Our Disputes and chargeback services provides a tool for use by eftpos Members to manage the process to resolve disputed transactions and chargebacks arising from eftpos Transactions.

eftpos also provides merchant tokenisation services that promises to improve authorisation rates and reduce fraud rates for debit cards stored with merchants in their Card on File services. Mobile tokenisation services also support purchase, refund and cash out with cash out at sale using a mobile Pay service provider being a differentiator for eftpos compared with the ICS.

The growth of debit card transactions in Australia makes eftpos’ digital strategy even more important for competition and innovation. Our national network provides Australian FinTechs the opportunity to build innovative solutions and payments capability, with access to hundreds of thousands of Australian merchants and millions of Australian eftpos-enabled cards via the eftpos network.

eftpos is already collaborating closely with over a dozen FinTechs and industry organisations such as Fintech Australia and Stone & Chalk, in an effort to work with the brightest and most innovative Australian FinTech minds.

eftpos formed a FinTech Advisory Committee in collaboration with FinTech Australia, as another way of giving FinTechs a direct say in how they can access our payments network in the future.

eftpos has also chosen to deliver better digital experience through development of its assets (connectID, Beem It, QR orchestration) competing directly with Big Tech.

Last year eftpos purchased Beem It, the Australian payments App that enables consumers to send and receive money using their phone in seconds, regardless of who they bank with.

Australians are rapidly moving much of their daily lives to mobile and Beem It is a great Australian-owned and operated option for them to embrace digital payments. The purchase serves as a key element to eftpos’ strategy to diversify and move further into the digital ecosystem.

Another new eftpos technology that will allow Australian businesses to grow their digital sales at low cost is QR orchestration. Using enriched data and integrated customer loyalty services, by leveraging eftpos’ robust and secure Australian owned network infrastructure.

With trials to commence mid-year, the decision to rollout eftpos QR code payments and orchestration comes at a time when Australians are becoming familiar with QR code technology through daily interactions with COVID19 check ins and increasingly turning to digital shopping.

Also under development is the eftpos Digital Identity service (connectID), which will enable eftpos to establish itself at the centre of the digital ecosystem by allowing identity issuers and requesters to connect with the widest range of Australian identity owners.

As the broker providing ‘rails’ in the national identity network, we aim to connect every participant in the AusPayNet developed TrustID framework as well as in other Australian frameworks, such as the government’s Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF). Launch is planned for mid-2021.

eftpos recently became the 17th member of Hedera Hashgraph's Governing Council, along with the likes of Boeing, Google and DLA Piper. Hedera Hashgraph is a third-generation distributed ledger technology. We have conducted a proof of concept with one of many logical use cases being micropayments. We see this capability as another opportunity for our members and their customers to innovate with, driving further diversification for eftpos and placing eftpos in the middle of the digital economy.

Australian businesses know digital technologies are transforming work, life and business. eftpos understands this too. We are proud to be a market leader in developing digital payments solutions in collaboration with financial institutions and new fintech entrants.

As such, eftpos is no longer a card-only at point of sale business and has grown into a diverse business with competitive digital capability and significant eftpos-only payments and non-payments functionality.

Our purpose remains simple – to change the way Australians pay for the better. We are innovating in a way that remains true to our record of putting the interests of Australian merchants and consumers first, as a reliable, ubiquitous, low-cost competitor to the multinational schemes and global tech giants. 

Ben Tabell
Ben Tabell

eftpos low cost national QR code payments network rollout

eftpos today announced details for a national QR code payments network rollout, which aims to provide Australian consumers and merchants with better data-rich payments experiences no matter where they choose to shop – online, on their mobile or at the checkout.

eftpos aims to have the QR code payments network in trial by mid-year, designed to be low cost and facilitate many value added opportunities for merchants and consumers. It is intended to seamlessly link loyalty, offers, receipts and more, while also driving deeper customer engagement. The national rollout is expected to be completed in 2022.

eftpos CEO Stephen Benton said the decision to rollout national eftpos QR code payments network comes at a time when Australians are becoming familiar with QR code technology through daily interactions with COVID19 check ins and increasingly turning to digital shopping.

Mr Benton said the rollout was about re-imagining the Australian payment experience, while businesses are looking to new digital innovations to improve efficiency and create better customer experiences.

“Digital transactions enabled through the national QR code payments network aim to elevate and enrich the consumer payment experience while driving growth for local businesses,” Mr Benton said.

“Initiating secure purchase transactions using a consumers’ preferred digital wallet unlocks a wealth of extra benefits that will transform the way Australians choose to pay.”

Mr Benton added as part of eftpos’ strategy driving digital competition in Australia, the technology allows merchants to grow their digital sales with low cost QR acceptance using enriched data and integrated customer loyalty services, by leveraging eftpos’ robust and secure Australian owned network infrastructure.

It works by generating unique QR codes containing transaction details that are captured on a consumer’s mobile phone, initiating a secure digital wallet payment that is seamlessly integrated with the merchant’s loyalty service provider.

“The QR code payments network will enable local home-grown innovation by connecting numerous APIs, consumer digital wallets, and supporting technologies on top of the existing eftpos network rails, providing choice and potential cost savings for local businesses,” Mr Benton said.

eftpos QR network
QR code on phone and laptop

eftpos unveils its Australia-first digital product strategy

Spearheading innovation & collaboration across members, Fintechs and retailers eftpos today announced an updated digital product and technology strategy for rollout over the next two years, which aims to change the daily lives of Australians for the better. The strategy also provides greater clarity to members, Australian Fintechs and retailers about opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

eftpos CEO Stephen Benton said the strategy aims to create greater value, ease and security for consumers and businesses by enabling compelling innovations for members, Fintechs and retailers that enhance the digital commerce experience.

Mr Benton said much of the work was already well underway and the business was deeply engaged with members and industry participants to finalise detailed rollout schedules over the next two years.

The digital strategy has five key elements:

  • Mobile Wallets
  • eCommerce
  • Digital identity
  • APIs and Fintech access
  • National QR code payments rollout

“The eftpos digital product strategy has been devised with an Australian focus, creating world-class innovations to compete against global players. The strategy we embarked on two years ago aimed to transition eftpos from a card present retail business to a major player in the centre of Australian eCommerce that leverages our world-class technology investments,” Mr Benton said. “It’s been a journey not without challenges, but it has come together better than we could ever have hoped, with a keystone being the recent acquisition of Beem It.

“In many ways, eftpos was Australia’s first Fintech and our digital strategy builds on that history to deliver on eftpos’ purpose – to do good for Australia. We aim to do this by engaging with members, Fintechs and retailers to make everyday payments easy, secure, smart and cost efficient.”

Mr Benton said the growth of debit card transactions in Australia made eftpos’ digital strategy even more important for competition and innovation.

Debit cards is where competition is thriving in Australia today. Debit cards are by far the most popular payment choice for Australians as they move from cash and credit during this challenging time. Of the almost one billion electronic transactions per month in Australia, around 70% are now on debit and that number is growing every month.

Many of the digital initiatives leverage eftpos’ centralised payments infrastructure, the eftpos Hub, that was built in late 2014 and our Token Service Provider that went live in 2016. Together, these assets provide locally-based, world-class, secure and accessible real time payments infrastructure. The resilient Hub infrastructure has been running at zero downtime since launch and enables local Fintechs and financial institutions to access, innovate and compete on top of the eftpos payment rails.

The rapid pace of our transformation agenda means new initiatives are being introduced swiftly to encourage competition and innovation during the nation’s economic recovery, and at a low cost due to its accessible design and our use of global standards that facilitate choice. 

Digi Ecommerce
Digital Product Strategy