Card payments growth to be fostered by several economic and business drivers
Several important economic, business and infrastructural drivers are expected to promote the Australian cards and payments industry. The growth of per capita GDP and lower inflationary pressures are bolstering payment channels. Prepaid cards, government purchase cards, e-commerce, and mobile commerce are also considered positive drivers. Infrastructural drivers include the government’s insistence on bank-developed software applications for mobile and e-banking purposes.
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Regulations on the gift and prepaid cards:
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) was one of the first financial institutions in Australia to issue regulations. As the nation’s central bank, its aim is to promote competitive efficiency and stability. To this end, it has taken a few important steps such as restricting the “honor all cards” rule to allow merchants to decline cards. It also capped the Visa debit interchange fee, lowered the interchange fee for domestic electronic funds transfers at the point of sale (EFTPOS), and implemented transparency and disclosure requirements for interchange and merchant service fees.
The prepaid card category, however, is under-regulated but does have to adhere to the Corporations Act (2001). Except for the ePayments Code, which requires gift card issuers to be aware of the identity of the holder’s transaction history, the gift card channel is not subject to any regulation.
Competitive marketing and pricing strategies
Due to competitive pressures, banks and issuers are developing marketing and pricing strategies with the aim of attracting more customers. Offers such as cashback, discounts, rewards points and insurance cover are some of the strategies that banks are adopting.
Banks are segmenting their customer bases to maximize the potential of expanding their market shares. Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia have launched credit cards that specifically target college students, while Commonwealth Bank and ANZ have established a range of corporate cards designed to meet the specific needs of businesses. Commonwealth Bank of Australia offers a procurement management card for the management of end-to-end procurement activity, while ANZ offers payroll cards
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