ACCC reapproves membership rules for Consumer Electronic Clearing System

18 December 2009

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has reauthorised certain regulations governing the operation of the Consumer Electronic Clearing System managed by the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

The CECS provides a forum in which participants in the EFTPOS and/or ATM systems agree on minimum mandatory standards and procedures for the clearing and settlement of EFTPOS and ATM transactions.  These standards include specifications for equipment, cards, communication links and message formats. The CECS Regulations and Manual have been authorised by the ACCC since 2000.

APCA sought reauthorisation only for certain provisions of the CECS Regulations and Manual relating to the certification of participants in CECS and suspension and termination of CECS membership.

"The CECS certification, suspension and termination provisions promote the efficient operation and enhanced security and integrity of the consumer electronic clearing system," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

The decision to reauthorise the arrangements affirms the ACCC's draft decision issued last month.

Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

The ACCC's determination will be available from the ACCC website, www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister, and by following the links to this matter.

Related register records

Release number: 
NR 317/09
Media enquiries: 
Mr Graeme Samuel - (03) 9290 1812
Ms Lin Enright - (02) 6243 1108