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ACCC Seeks Input On Eftpos Mega-Merger

The ACCC is looking into a court-enforceable undertaking offered for the proposed merger of eftpos, BPAY, and New Payments Platform Australia Ltd (NPPA).

The consumer watchdog is seeking industry views on the merger, which would see the three payment processing giants come together as one company, Australian Payments Plus (AP+).

According to ACCC chair Rod Sims, the undertaking aims to address concerns that the merger would lead to decreased investment and support for eftpos as well as reduced availability for least-cost routing (LCR), which allows merchants to decide whether dual-network debit card payments are processed by eftpos or by Visa or Mastercard.

Rod Sims, ACCC.

“eftpos plays an important role in maintaining competition in the routing of debit card payments, which are an important part of Australia’s payment landscape.

“We are interested in the views of merchants and other industry participants on how this undertaking would impact competition in payment services,” he said.

As listed on the ACCC’s website, the proposed undertaking would force AP+ to:

a) ensure that eftpos will do everything in its control to make LCR available for three years;
b) ensure the eftpos payments scheme and the eftpos card-based issuing and acceptance infrastructure and services are maintained for three years;
c) ensure that eftpos and NPPA develop and make available a set of Prescribed Services within agreed timeframes; and
d) ensure that BPAY, eftpos and NPPA agree an industry wide standard supporting payment with QR codes by the end of June 2022.

“The obligations in the undertaking are intended to help ensure that eftpos will develop and improve its debit-based payment services for point of sale, online and in-app payments, and person-to-person payments,” said Sims.

Interested parties can submit their views to the ACCC until 5pm on Tuesday, August 17.

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