ASIC ePayments Code to offer better protection

Consumers won't be liable for unauthorised electronic transactions under new Code

A revised ePayments Code designed to offer consumers better protection when conducting business online has been released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The new Code follows a review of the previous Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct (EFT Code) and will regulate consumer electronic payments including automatic teller machines (ATM), EFTPOS, debt and credit card transactions including contactless transactions, online payments, internet banking and BPAY.

For example, under the new Code a consumer whose online account has been hacked into and used by a third party for unauthorised transactions will not be liable if the financial provider is a subscriber to the Code.

Electronic payments processor, PayPal Australia, has agreed to sign up to the revised Code by the end of the transition period from the EFT Code on 20 March 2013.

ASIC chairman, Greg Medcraft, said in a statement that the regulator expects banks, credit unions and building societies who are members of the old Code to join soon. It is also in talks with other providers such as prepaid debit card operators, gift card retailers and travel money providers.

“Our new Code sets out best practice in consumer protection in plain English. It will encourage consumers to have confidence in our ePayment systems,” he said.

“I encourage all providers of consumer payment products to demonstrate they put their customers first and subscribe to the Code. Industry members are important gatekeepers and self-regulation has a role to play in improving industry standards and consumer experiences.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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