ePayments Code

The ePayments Code was released on 20 September 2011 (see media release 11-205MR).

What is the ePayments Code?

The ePayments Code applies to consumer electronic payment transactions, including ATM, EFTPOS and credit card transactions, online payments, internet and mobile banking, and BPAY.

It was formerly known as the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct (EFT Code) which existed from 1986. Subscribers progressively transitioned to the ePayments Code by 20 March 2013.

ASIC administers the ePayments Code, including monitoring compliance and conducting regular reviews.

Who is bound by the Code?

Most banks, credit unions and building societies currently subscribe to the ePayments Code, along with a number of non-banking businesses. The ePayments Code is presently a voluntary code of practice.

What does the ePayments Code do?

The ePayments Code plays an important role in the regulation of electronic payment facilities in Australia.

It complements other regulatory requirements, including financial services and consumer credit licensing, advice, training and disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 and the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

Among other things, the ePayments Code:

  • requires subscribers to give consumers clear and unambiguous terms and conditions,
  • stipulates how terms and conditions changes (such as fee increases), receipts and statements need to be made
  • sets out the rules for determining who pays for unauthorised transactions, and
  • establishes a regime for recovering mistaken internet payments.

There are more limited requirements for low value facilities that can hold a balance of no more than $500 at any one time.

What does it mean for consumers?

The Code only protects consumers who deal with a subscriber. Consumers should check that the banking or payment services organisation they are dealing with is a subscriber by:

  • checking the ASIC list of subscribers; or
  • checking their terms and conditions (if the company is a subscriber, it will say so in the product’s terms and conditions)

Exemptions and declarations under the Code

ASIC may exempt or declare that the application of the Code is modified in a specified way. A written instrument will be created to give effect to the exemptions or declarations, and published on ASIC's website.

Subscribers who would like to make an application for an exemption or declaration under the Code should follow the procedures set up for the application process.

Compliance reporting

Clause 44.1 of the ePayments Code requires subscribers to report to ASIC information about unauthorised transactions annually.

ASIC has placed a temporary pause on the unauthorised transactions data report requirements. For the 2018 to 2021 calendar years, subscribers will not be required to lodge reports with ASIC on unauthorised transactions.

ASIC will provide subscribers with an update at a later date regarding any requirements for subsequent years.

As has previously been the case, ASIC may also undertake targeted compliance monitoring of specific obligations under the Code. The focus of targeted monitoring may change from time to time.

Subscribers may direct any queries by email to epaymentscode@asic.gov.au.

Download the ePayments Code

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Last updated: 30/03/2021 09:22