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21-108MR ASIC consults on updates to the ePayments Code
ASIC has today released a consultation paper (CP 341) seeking feedback on proposed updates to the ePayments Code.
The updates are designed to ensure the Code continues to be effective and relevant to consumers and subscribers. ASIC’s proposed updates primarily relate to the following areas of the Code:
- compliance monitoring and data reporting;
- mistaken internet payments;
- small business protections;
- unauthorised transactions; and
- complaints handling.
The review also considers options for modernising the Code, to reflect changes in the field of electronic payments since the Code’s last review.
The consultation paper is designed to assist ASIC to form its final positions on updates to the Code. ASIC welcomes submissions on CP 341 from all interested parties.
Submissions are due by Friday 2 July 2021.
After receiving submissions on the consultation paper, ASIC will consider stakeholder feedback and issue a report outlining final positions. ASIC will also publish a draft updated Code for stakeholder feedback on the format and technical wording of the Code.
The ePayments Code provides important consumer protections in relation to electronic payments, including ATM, EFTPOS, credit and debit card transactions, online payments, and internet and mobile banking. For example, there is a general principle in the Code that banking customers will not be liable for unauthorised transactions on their accounts if they have taken reasonable steps to protect their accounts. The Code also sets out a process for banking customers to get help from their financial institution in retrieving funds they have mistakenly paid to the wrong person.
Most banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, as well as a small number of other providers of electronic payment services, subscribe to the Code.
ASIC is responsible for administering the Code, including reviewing it. The most recent comprehensive review of the Code was completed in December 2010.
Subscription to the Code is voluntary. However, the Government has accepted recommendations to mandate the Code. Most recently, in 2019, the Council of Financial Regulators recommended that ASIC be given the power to make compliance with the Code mandatory, such as through a legislative rule-making power. ASIC’s current review of the Code in its voluntary form is an interim measure ahead of the Code eventually becoming mandatory through legislation.