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Payment Platforms Seek Merger

Australia’s three major payment organisations – BPay, Eftpos and the New Payments Platform Australia – are asking the Competition and Consumer Commission’s permission to merge operations.

The shareholders, mainly banks, have submitted an independent report into the merger, saying it would create a stronger competitor to the likes of Visa, Mastercard and technology giants eyeing the payments sector.

The report by payments consultant Lance Blockley, says the tech giants include Google and China’s WeChat.

Blockley warned that Eftpos could cease to exist within a decade, unless the payment organisations are allowed to merge.

The report points to a long-term slide in Eftpos’s market share, saying that without the proposed merger it would face strong competition from international companies – leading to its possible demise within 10 years.

However Eftpos has rebuffed that assertion, saying it has implemented systems such as e-commerce, digital wallets and the rollout of a payment network. based on QR codes.

Meanwhile small retailers have raised concerns about the merger, highlighting what they say are the slow progress banks have made in cutting merchants’ payment costs by diverting debit card transactions through the Eftpos network.

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