Monday, March 08, 2004

Designation of Visa Debit Card Scheme in Australia

The Australian central bank, the RBA informs us on February 23 that:

Following a decision by the Payments System Board, the Reserve Bank has today designated the debit card scheme operated in Australia by Visa International as a payment system under the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998. Designation is the first step in the possible establishment of standards and/or access regimes for a payments system.

Once again Visa faces a road of next steps (research, hearings, questionairre etc). So they may choose to go that road and await the decision of the RBA on interchange fees, honour all cards rule, access regime etc. But they could also skip the proceedings and determine/implement the appropriate end result:

- lower interchange fees,

- elimination of honoud all cards and no surcharge rules,

- open access to Visa system.

Given that the RBA's work provides us with a lot of solid research and analysis, I actually look forward to the Australian proceedings. It may cost a lot of work, time and effort, but the result is exemplary for regulators all over the world.