Media Releases

  • Payments Fraud

    Fraud on Australian cards continues to increase in the online environment reflecting a global trend towards increasing cybercrime risks. 

    MEDIA RELEASE

    15 June 2015

    Payments fraud on Australian cards occurring mainly online

     

    A new report released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), the payments industry self-regulatory body, shows that fraud on Australian payment cards continues to increase in the online environment reflecting a global trend towards increasing cybercrime risks.

    The comprehensive report “Australia Payments Fraud – Details and Data” provides new payment fraud data for 2014 and a graphical overview of trends from 2009 to 2014.

    The new figures show that in 2014 fraud on Australian cards and cheques increased from 16.2 cents to 20.8 cents per $1,000 spent. Within this total: 

    • Cheque fraud remained under 1c in every $1,000.
    • Fraud on Australian payment cards increased from 46.6c to 58.8c in every $1,000 spent.

    Card-not-present fraud, occurring mainly online, by phone or by mail, accounted for 94 per cent of the increase in card fraud. The figures for Australian payment cards show that in 2014:

    • Card-not-present fraud increased by 42 per cent to $299.5 million (up from $210.4 million in 2013).
    • Two-thirds ($200.6 million) of card-not-present fraud occurred overseas (up from $124.5 million in 2013).
    • Card-not-present fraud made up 77 per cent of all payments card fraud in Australia by value (compared to 52 per cent in 2009).

    The scale of card-not-present fraud on Australian cards is in line with global trends. In 2014, card-not present fraud in the United Kingdom was up 10 per cent from last year to 331.5 million pounds. 

    Increasing card-not-present fraud on Australian cards needs to be seen in the context of:

    • Continued strong online spending by Australians: according to a study of consumer payments by the Reserve Bank of Australia, card activity in the card-not-present environment represents about 40 per cent of the total value of credit card purchases and nearly 25 per cent of debit card.
    • Migration of fraud to the online space as chip technology becomes more widespread: as industry measures to reduce payments fraud in one area take effect, criminals switch to other areas where frauds are easier to perpetrate.
    • The growing threat from cyber criminals experienced by governments, businesses and individuals worldwide: card-not-present fraud is just one manifestation of this threat.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “As criminals continue to increase their focus on cyber space, the industry is working to respond with innovative fraud prevention measures.”

    One example of this is the industry roll out of tokenisation. This is a technique that replaces sensitive information, such as a card number, with a non-sensitive replacement value or token. If captured, the token itself cannot be used for normal card-not-present transactions and as such is of no value to criminals. 

    This extra security layer will complement the industry’s existing card-not-present fraud prevention measures including enforcing standards to protect card data, stronger cardholder authentication techniques and enhancing real-time fraud detection tools.

    The figures for 2014 also show that:

    • Counterfeit / skimming fraud increased from $36.1 million to $42.1 million, well down from its peak of $66.0 million in 2011. The recent increase is largely due to skimming attacks on ATMs over the last year.
    • Lost and stolen fraud in Australia and overseas increased slightly from $32.2 million to $33.0 million, but Australian fraud dropped 7.1% from $21.2 million to $19.7 million.

    Today’s report highlights measures underway to help further reduce counterfeit/skimming fraud and lost and stolen fraud including the roll out of chip on proprietary debit cards, moving to chip-reading at ATMs and mandatory PIN authentication on most cards from November 2014.

    “Contrary to some recent media speculation, today’s figures provide no support for the suggestion that ’tap and go’ chip cards are at greater risk of fraud. They show that the much bigger challenge is online fraud, as we all spend more time and money in cyberspace. In this rapidly evolving digital environment, we need to stay ahead of the cyber criminals”, said Mr Hamilton. 

    “Australia Payments Fraud – Details and Data” is available at www.apca.com.au

    ENDS

    Media Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel: (02) 9216 4817 Mob: 0409 716 556 

    Tips on how to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.

    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.

    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.

    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.

    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying

      various cards in order to make a successful payment?

    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (e.g. hotel) or to a PO box number.

    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.

    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.

    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods – American Express

      SafeKey, MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Towards a Digital Economy

    Australian consumers are continuing to move away from cheques and cash in favour of cards and other electronic payments. 

    MEDIA RELEASE

    6 March 2015

     

    APCA releases new report on declining cheque use as payments transition to the digital economy 

     

    The Milestones Report released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, shows Australian consumers are continuing to move away from cheques and cash in favour of cards and other electronic payments.

    Today’s Report shows that cheque use in Australia dropped 13.9 per cent in 2014 to 167 million. This compares to an 8.8 per cent increase in the use of payment cards and a 7.5 per cent increase in direct entry payments (direct debits and direct credits).

    The Report also shows that consumers are using less cash. In 2014, the number of ATM cash withdrawals dropped by 4.8 per cent to 741 million and by 2.1 per cent in value to $143 billion.

    Cheque use in Australia has been declining for over a decade. A comparison between the months of December 2002 and December 2014 shows a 71 per cent drop in cheque use.

    Cheque values remain in flux suggesting that the majority of cheques still being used are for high value business transactions and for property settlement. In 2014, the value of cheques increased slightly by 0.7 per cent to $1,228 billion. This compares to a 6.2 per cent increase in the value of card payments and a 4.8 per cent increase in the value of direct entry payments.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “These figures reflect the two sides of the cheques story. First, cheques are rapidly falling out of everyday use. Second, there are some specialised contexts – like real estate – which are more resilient. These are gradually being whittled away by more efficient automated solutions – like the new PEXA service. I am confident that as these solutions come on line we will see cheque values dropping at the same rate as cheque numbers.” 

    Today’s Report also notes the work underway by the payments industry and government to ease the transition from cheques to digital payments including:

    • The introduction of electronic conveyancing for property settlement through the PEXA service.
    • The Government’s SuperStream initiative to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system.
    • The New Payments Platform, a major industry initiative to develop new infrastructure for fast, flexible data rich payments.
    • A comprehensive review by the Australian Payments Council which will look at legacy payments, innovation and technology. 

    "If you still rely on your cheque book, I encourage you to look at the alternatives that are already widely available, cheap, and reliable,” said Mr Hamilton.

    APCA releases Milestones Reports twice a year to review progress against the action plan it published in May 2012(2).

     

    ENDS 

    1. This is a re-issue of the media release issued on 5 March 2015. That release contained incorrect figures for the volume and value of direct entry payments. All other figures in that release were correct.
    2. See “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” 

    Media Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel: (02) 9216 4817 Mob: 0409 716 556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     

     

  • Payments Fraud

    The trend of increasing card-not-present fraud reflects the strong growth in online spending by Australians.

     
     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 9 December 2014

    Payments fraud trends a reminder to take care when Christmas shopping online

    Today’s interim release of payments fraud data by the Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, reflects the trends reported in “Australian Payments Fraud – Details and Data for 2013” in June 2014.

    Today’s data, which are for the 12 months to June 2014, are available at www.apca.com.au. Complete payments fraud data for 2014 will be available in mid-2015.

    The data show that compared to figures for the same period last year, the total rate of fraud on Australian cards and cheques increased from 16.1 cents to 18.7 cents per $1,000 spent.

    This increase is largely due to a rise in card-not present-fraud mainly occurring online. Card-not-present fraud on Australian cards increased from $199.2 million to $256.1 million. The majority of this fraud (66%) occurred overseas.

    The trend of increasing card-not-present fraud reflects the strong growth in online spending by Australians. In the four years to December 2013 online purchases increased by an estimated 140%. This compares to a 67% increase in card-not-present fraud over the same period.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “We all know that the economy is going digital, and this year even more people will be doing their Christmas shopping online. Along with the convenience of online global shopping comes a greater need to be aware of scams and to know who you are dealing with. The rise in online cross-border card fraud is a timely reminder to take special care this holiday season.”

    Consumers can take simple steps to help stay safe when shopping online including:

    • Only providing their card details on secure websites – looking for the locked padlock.
    • Always keeping their PC security software up-to-date and doing a full scan often.
    • Registering for and using their financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.
    • Checking account statements and reporting any suspicious transactions to their financial institution immediately.

    Australian consumers are not liable if fraudulent transactions are made on their accounts and will be reimbursed their funds as long as they have taken due care.

    Retailers can take simple measures to help protect their businesses from online fraud including by taking advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods American Express SafeKey, MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. Further information is available in APCA’s “Get Smart About Card Fraud Online” training.

    Today’s interim release also shows that:

    • Counterfeit / skimming fraud increased from $37.9 million to $42.0 million, well down from its peak of $66.0 million in 2011. This rise is largely due to ATM skimming attacks over the period. Continued vigilance by financial institutions and by the police, alongside the industry move towards chip-reading at ATMs, is crucial to limiting this fraud. Consumers should help protect against this type of fraud by covering their hand when entering their PIN at ATMs and point-of-sale devices.
    • Lost and stolen fraud on Australian cards increased from $30.5 million to $33.1 million. This comprises a slight drop (-1.5%) to $20.5 million in the fraud occurring in Australia, but an increase (30.2%) to $12.5 million in fraud occurring overseas. Consumers are reminded to always keep their cards and PINs safe.

    APCA’s next comprehensive payments fraud report “Australian Payments Fraud – Details and Data for

    For further information visit:

    APCA website: Get Smart About Card Fraud Online; Protect Your Pin; Safeguard Against Skimming ACCC website: SCAMwatch

     

    Media contact:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409 716 556 

     

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Email info@apca.com.au www.apca.com.au

     
     
  • Towards a Digital Economy

    New research shows that Australians are using less cash.

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    5 August 2014

    Australians embracing digital payments: APCA releases new report on transitioning payments to the digital economy

    The Milestones Report released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, shows that as with cheques, Australian consumers are increasingly giving up cash in favour of cards, mobiles and online solutions. But unlike cheques, cash will not disappear as a payment method in the digital economy, remaining as a default method if nothing else is available.

    Today’s Report on Australia’s progress on transitioning payments to the digital economy provides a special focus on cash. It draws from APCA-commissioned research The Evolution of Cash: An Investigative Study developed by RFi Consulting which has also been released today. Both reports are available at www.apca.com.au.

    The new research shows that Australians are using less cash as the uptake of contactless and other electronic payments continues to gain pace. The number of cash payments has declined 5% since 2005 - down to an estimated 11.7 billion in 2013 - reflecting the changing way in how consumers pay. This decline is predicted to accelerate, dropping a further 20% over the next few years before it plateaus in 2018.

    The decline in cash use is supported by recent figures released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. In February 2014 there were 57.3 million cash withdrawals from ATMs - down from 60.0 million in February 2013. The value of these withdrawals dropped 9 percent to $10.8 billion. As the economy grows, cash needs will decline as digital methods dominate new activity.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said: “We will always have a need for cash, but the take-out here is that cash won’t be the first or only choice for making any payment, regardless of what it’s for. Australians love their “tap and go” cards, and we are going to see lots of competition and innovation in mobile payments in the next few years. Consumers are going to find that cash is not their first choice any more, even for convenience items like a coffee. Increasingly, they may also find that automated, super-convenient consumer services will accept a wide range of digital payments – but not cash.”

    The RFi study also shows that the share of cash within all of the payment transactions made in Australia has dropped from 73% in 2005 to 59% in 2013, with a further share decline forecast to 43% in 2018.

    RFi Consulting CEO Lance Blockley said: “As the Australian economy continues to grow, so does the total number of payments being made. The fact that the number of cash payments is now decreasing means that this form of payment is not only missing out on this overall market growth but is being displaced from where it was previously used. Australian consumers and businesses are adopting new electronic methods based on a variety of factors, including speed, convenience and security.”

    Other key points in today’s Milestones Report include:

    • The rapid decline of cheque use in Australia continues with a 13.3% drop in 2013, compared with 12.5% in 2012.
    • Cheque values remain stable, suggesting that cheques are predominantly used for higher value business payments, rather than personal payments.

    Industry and government initiatives to ease the transition from cheques to digital payments continue to gather pace. These include the New Payments Platform, SuperStream and E-Conveyancing.

    APCA releases Milestones Reports to review progress against the action plan it published in May 2012(1).

    ENDS 

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817
    Mobile: 0409 716 556

     

    (1) See “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • Redefining for the Future

    Announcing a new, more inclusive membership community, improved governance, and independent directors

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 4 July 2014

    The changing face of payments: APCA redefines itself for the next generation of payment systems

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, announced the commencement from 1 July of a new, more inclusive membership community and improved governance. These changes reflect APCA’s growing role in supporting the Australian payments system. Changes include the appointment of two additional independent directors.

    Late last year, APCA’s members voted to adopt a new Constitution to recognise the growing diversity of interests in payments arising from structural and technological change. The transition to the new arrangements ended on 30 June 2014.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “The structure of the Australian payments system is changing fast, and APCA is changing with it. For many years, APCA’s focus was on the basic plumbing of Australian payments – non-competitive payment clearing arrangements. The key players have traditionally been financial institutions.

    “But two long-term trends are changing the nature of Australian payments, and bringing new challenges for APCA, notably the growth of new, non-traditional payment providers and the rapid growth of competition amongst payment systems. In this new world, APCA has moved to redefine itself.

    “The governance transition, completed on 30 June 2014, gives us the reach and inclusiveness to support the whole payments system and the ability to provide a venue for debate across the full diversity of interests.”

    Key elements of the change are:

    • Extension of membership eligibility to any participant in any recognised Australian
    • payments system as defined under Commonwealth legislation, not just APCA-
    • administered systems;
    • Creation of a new category of operator membership for organisations that administer a
    • payment network or scheme;
    • Significantly revised voting and director election arrangements to promote fair
    • representation of interests across the payments system; and
    • The addition of two new independent directors to join the independent chair and the provision of substantial voting power to those independents, thereby broadening and deepening our policy formulation and decision-making.

    “I look forward to welcoming a number of important newcomers to APCA membership in the near future,” said Mr Hamilton.

    Elected directors

    APCA held its first election for member directors. Long-serving Director, Mr Paul Apolony, and new Director, Mr David Carter, were elected as a result and join the six appointed directors representing the four major banks, credit unions and building societies, respectively.

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     

    Announcing two new independent directors

    In addition to eight member directors and a nominee of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the new Constitution provides for three independent directors with substantial voting power. APCA’s independent Chair, Robert Craig, was appointed in February 2014. He is now joined by two new independent directors to the APCA Board, who attended their first meeting in June 2014.

    • Jennifer Clark

    Ms Clark has over 23 years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director and is currently a Member of the Boards of the National ICT Australia Ltd (NICTA) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Ms Clark is also an independent member of a number of Audit and Risk Committees.

    Ms Clark has an extensive background in business, finance and governance through a career as a Non-Executive Director since 1991 and as a Banker for over 20 years. In her banking career she specialised in financing major companies and infrastructure projects, as well as undertaking advisory roles to the Commonwealth Government.

    • Kate Mulligan

    Ms Mulligan has more than 28 years’ experience in Financial Services business and the law, including senior roles at Allens, St George Bank and ANZ. She has been Managing Director and sat on the boards of several funds management businesses, including Advance Asset Management and Ventura Investment Management, for over ten years.

    Ms Mulligan is currently a Non-Executive Director of Netwealth and its subsidiaries, and is the Chair of Netwealth's Group Audit Committee. She is also Managing Director of King Irving Consulting Group which specialises in financial services, and is a practicing solicitor. Ms Mulligan chaired the Disclosure and the Retirement Incomes Committees for the Financial Services Council.

    “I am delighted to welcome Jennifer and Kate to the Board,” said Mr Craig. “I look forward to the experience, diversity and depth of perspective they will bring to our deliberations. Their contribution should be critical in helping APCA fulfil its mission of aligning the interests of members and of the public in improving the Australian payments system. Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to the continuing APCA members and their Directors. They have fostered change with a spirit of openness and collaboration.”

    ENDS

    Media:

    Brad Pragnell, APCA Industry Policy
    Tel. (02) 9216 4837 Mobile: 0408 438 618 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

     
  • Payments Fraud

    Detection and prevention measures employed by the industry are showing promising results in putting downward pressure on fraud.

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 17 June 2014 

    New payments fraud report 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, today released a new report to help inform businesses on Australian payments fraud trends and effective measures and practices to help combat fraud. It coincides with the release of new payments fraud figures for 2013.

    The report “Australia Payments Fraud – Details and Data” shows that payments fraud in Australia is increasing as part of a global trend, but that detection and prevention measures employed by the industry are showing promising results in putting downward pressure on fraud.

    In 2013, the total rate of fraud on Australian cards and cheques increased from 15.0 cents to 16.9 cents per $1,000 spent.

    • Cheque fraud remained under 1c in every $1,000.
    • Fraud on Australian payment cards increased from 43.6c to 48.7c in every $1,000 spent, down from the peak of 51.5c in 2011.

    This increase is largely due to a rise in card-not present-fraud with the report showing that the trends seen in recent years continued over the last year. On Australian cards, in 2013:

    • Card-not-present fraud increased from $183.1 million to $219.7 million. This needs to be seen in the context of the strong growth in online spending by Australians: in the four years to December 2013 online purchases increased by an estimated 140%. This compares to a 67% increase in card-not-present fraud over the same period.
    • Counterfeit / skimming fraud remained at $37.2 million, well down from its peak of $66.0 million in 2011. The use of chip technology is continuing to prove effective in countering this type of fraud.
    • Lost and stolen fraud increased from $27.0 million to $34.0 million. This suggests that as enhanced fraud detection tools and chip technology make it more difficult for criminals, they are reverting to simple theft and deception to obtain cards.

    The report shows that measures by the industry to limit card fraud are having an effect in keeping fraud rates comparatively low. In 2013, Australia’s card fraud rate was a third less than that of the UK.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said that fraud trends are being influenced globally by changes in the way people shop, in payment technology and in criminal activities.

    “Card-not-present fraud has gone from making up less than half of all card fraud in 2008 to reaching 72% in 2013. The biggest factor here is the very high growth rate of online retail,” said Mr Hamilton.

    “The challenge for the industry is to get every online merchant to protect card data by complying with the PCI standards, and to extend the use of the strong authentication methods and detection tools available,” said Mr Hamilton.

    The report also highlights measures underway to help further reduce counterfeit/skimming fraud and lost and stolen fraud including the roll-out of chip on proprietary debit cards, chip-reading at ATMs and the phasing out of signatures in favour of PIN from August 2014.

    “We are living through a profound and permanent change in people’s spending habits, as shopping goes virtual. The economic and social benefits of that are powerful, but the new report helps the community scrutinise and better manage the fraud side-effects. We can see the longer- term trends and where to focus fraud prevention efforts,” said Mr Hamilton.

    “Australia Payments Fraud – Details and Data” is available at www.apca.com.au. APCA plans to release this report on an annual basis.

    For further information:

    Dr Brad Pragnell, Head of Industry Policy P: (02) 9216 4837 M: 0408 438 618 

    ENDS

    Tips on how to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.

    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.

    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.

    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.

    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying various cards in order to make a successful payment?

    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (e.g. hotel) or to a PO box number.

    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.

    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.

    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods – American Express Safekey, MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa 

     
  • Submission to the Government's Financial System Inquiry

    "The Australian payments system is one of the most developed and dynamic in the world."

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    3 April 2014

    APCA continues to support co-regulatory approach

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, has lodged an industry response to the Commonwealth Government’s Financial System Inquiry (FSI) supporting a continued co-regulatory approach to payments system enhancements.

    The 17 years since the release of the Wallis Report in March 1997 have seen significant changes within Australian payments. In March 1997, payment offerings such as BPAY and PayPal did not exist and payment channels and instruments such as mobile, online and contactless were unknown – today these offerings, channels and instruments are used by millions of Australians every day. Conversely, Australians today use 75 per cent fewer cheques than they did in 1997.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “The Australian payments system is one of the most developed and dynamic in the world. Business and consumers have access to a broad yet increasing range of electronic payment methods and continue to embrace them enthusiastically.”

    Amidst this changing landscape, the payments industry and the Reserve Bank of Australia as payments regulator have been able to adapt and foster improvement through a co-regulatory approach. Mr Hamilton said that the industry continues to support this approach.

    “We have said to the FSI that the current regulatory structure encourages industry engagement with the regulator. We believe this has worked well and there is no need for any radical overhaul,” said Mr Hamilton.

    Mr Hamilton identified the ongoing New Payments Platform (NPP) initiative and the proposed new Australian Payments Council as recent examples.

    “The NPP is new payments infrastructure currently being developed collaboratively by industry in association with the RBA. It will provide businesses and consumers with a fast, versatile, data- rich payments system for making their everyday payments. This highlights the long-term benefit that a co-regulatory approach can produce.”

    “With the rapid development of new payment technologies, there will be emerging challenges that need to be addressed. The new Payments Council, which will include the RBA and industry stakeholders, will provide a venue for the industry as a whole to debate and respond to these challenges.”

    “We believe the co-regulatory approach taken thus far has proven to be a sound and sustainable way of resolving issues in a technologically-complex network industry,” said Mr Hamilton.

    APCA’s submission to the FSI is available at www.apca.com.au

     

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • New Independent Chair

    "Brings a wealth of skills and senior level payments experience to the Board gained both in Australia and overseas." 

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    5 February 2014

    APCA Appoints New Chair

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, announced today the appointment of Mr Robert Craig as the company’s new independent chair effective 1 January 2014.

    Mr Craig succeeds Mr Russell Rechner who retired at the end of his term in December 2013. APCA deputy chair Mr Stuart Woodward acknowledged the significant contribution made by Mr Rechner during his six-year service as APCA chair.

    “Russell presided over a period of steady expansion in APCA’s workload and increased value to the payments industry and its participants. This culminated in members voting for major constitutional changes to enhance industry governance in Russell’s last general meeting as chair. On behalf of the Board, I thank him and wish him all the best,” said Mr Woodward.

    Mr Craig brings a wealth of skills and senior level payments experience to the Board gained both in Australia and overseas. Prior to 2008, his 25-year career in financial services included senior roles at Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank, Bank of New Zealand and National Westminster Bank.

    In 2008, Mr Craig left banking to pursue alternative interests, including private equity and start-up investment. Since 2010 he has also been working with international consulting firms KR Strategy and ICG (where he is currently Practice Leader - Transformation) specialising in leading large scale organisational transformation programmes.

    Mr Craig has been appointed to a three-year term and will chair his first meeting of the APCA Board on 6 February 2014.

    Mr Woodward said the Board was delighted that Mr Craig had accepted the position. “The payments industry is entering a sustained period of structural and regulatory change, with major developments under way such as the New Payments Platform and the proposed Payments Council. APCA is in the centre of this evolution. With his all-round experience and passion for transformation, Rob will be a valuable addition to the industry leadership team,” said Mr Woodward.

    Mr Craig said that he was looking forward to the challenge offered by his new role. “This is an exciting time for APCA and the payments industry. I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the APCA team to improve Australia’s payments system,” said Mr Craig. 

    ENDS

     

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817
    Mobile: 0409 716 556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • Towards a Digital Economy

    MEDIA RELEASE

    20 December 2013

    APCA releases new report on cheques and the digital economy 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, released today the second Milestones Report on the transition of Australian payments to the digital economy.

    Today’s report shows that the rapid decline in cheque use is continuing as electronic alternatives become more convenient. Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia show that for the year to June 2013, cheques use dropped 13.3% – down from 241 million to 209 million. This compares with a 12.5% drop for the year to December 2012.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “When it comes to Australian payments, we are on the bridge to the digital economy. Our findings in 20121 predicted the irreversible decline of cheques. Recent trends suggest that they will be a rarity within five years. The pace of decline reflects the increasing uptake of convenient electronic payments.”

    Today’s Report highlights the initiatives undertaken by financial institutions and Government to ensure a smooth transition to the digital economy for those that still rely on cheques. It notes that: 

    • Same-day settlement for direct entry payments, which was introduced in November 2013, will support faster movement of value in routine electronic payments.
    • The use of mobile phones for payments, in particular for online banking, is growing.
    • APCA is coordinating a digital cheque clearing strategy to increase efficiencies in the cheque
    • processing system.
    • The industry is developing new real-time payments infrastructure which will improve electronic payments and provide another alternative to cheques.
    • Initiatives to automate paper-based processes, such as SuperStream for superannuation payments and PEXA for electronic property exchange in the real estate industry, have made significant advances. 

    “Towards the Digital Economy: Milestones Report” – Second Report is available at apca.com.au

    Milestones Reports2are released twice a year to review progress against the action plan published by APCA in May 20122 . The next milestones report is due for release in mid-2014. 

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556

    page1image23704

    1 “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” is available at www.apca.com.au

    2 See “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Payments Fraud

    Australians have embraced the convenience and benefits of online shopping, but need to take care as they do so.

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 17 December 2013

    Payments fraud in Australia

    Payments fraud data released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, show that the total fraud on cheques and Australian-issued payment cards increased by 2% to $290 million over the year to 30 June 2013. The rate of cheque fraud increased against a decline in overall cheque volumes, whereas the rate of card fraud decreased slightly as overall card activity continued to grow. 

    The new figures, for the 12 months to 30 June 2013, show that:

    • The rate of fraud on all Australian-issued payment cards1 dropped from 47.4c to 46.1c in every $1,000 transacted. The overall amount of payments card fraud increased by 1% to $280.5 million. This is against an increase of 4% to $607.9 billion on the total amount spent by Australians on their cards.
    • Cheque fraud increased from a historic low in 2012 but remained under 1c in every $1,000 transacted. The overall amount of cheque fraud increased by 26% to $9.9 million. This is against a 4% drop to $1,197.0 billion in the total amount transacted on cheques. 

    Today’s data, including a breakdown of payment instruments by fraud categories, are available at www.apca.com.au

    The figures show that card-not-present (CNP) fraud continued to represent the bulk of fraud on Australian- issued cards over the 12 month period. CNP fraud (occurring2mainly online) increased by 5% to $198.9 million. This is against a reported increase of more than 14% in internet shopping over the same period.

    “Australians have embraced the convenience and benefits of online shopping, but need to take care as they do so. If merchants and consumers take simple precautions and make use of the security measures offered, we can all protect ourselves and beat the fraudsters”, said APCA CEO Chris Hamilton. 

    Information on how online retailers can protect themselves and their customers is available at www.apca.com.au/getsmart. Retailers should look to use strong online authentication methods such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. Consumers are encouraged to register for and use their financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.

    The figures also show that counterfeit and skimming fraud on Australian-issued payment cards dropped by 29% to $37.8 million over the 12 month period. This total consists of $24.3 million occurring in Australia - a 4% increase - primarily due to skimming at ATMs, and $13.5 million occurring overseas - a drop of 55%. 

    “It is encouraging to see the hard work of financial institutions, card schemes and law enforcement paying off. Chip technology is having a significant impact on reducing card skimming at POS terminals. The industry is now moving towards chip-reading ATMs to close the loop on skimming fraud”, said Mr Hamilton.

    Consumers can help protect against skimming fraud with simple measures like covering their hand when entering their PIN at an ATM. More tips for consumers are available at www.apca.com.au. 

    Today’s figures indicate that as detection tools become more sophisticated, criminals are reverting to simple theft and deception to obtain cards. Lost and stolen fraud on Australian-issued cards increased by 33% to $30.4 million over the 12 month period. Within Australia, lost and stolen fraud increased by 32% to $20.8 million and overseas, by 33% to $9.6 million.

    “The industry is working to make life harder for card thieves for example by phasing out signature authentication in favour of PIN by mid-2014. But nothing beats good old-fashioned vigilance – treat your card like cash and keep it safe at all times”, said Mr Hamilton.

    Consumers are reminded to immediately report a lost or stolen card to their financial institution and to check their statements carefully for any unauthorised transactions.

    Importantly, Australian consumers are not liable if unauthorised transactions are made with their cards and will be reimbursed their funds as long as they have taken due care. 

    ______________________________

    1 As from this release, APCA is no longer presenting separate fraud rates for proprietary debit cards and scheme credit, debit and charge cards. Instead, we present fraud rates for all Australian-issued cards. The reason for this is that the Reserve Bank no longer publishes data on activity for the separate card types. APCA will continue to release fraud data for these two card types at www.apca.com.au, but fraud rates will only be available for Australian-issued cards.page1image28856 page1image29016 page1image29176 page1image29336

    2 NAB Online Retail Sales Index 

    ENDS

     

    For more information: Ida Turner – APCA Communications | +61 409 716 556 

     

    More tips on how to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.
    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.
    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.
    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.
    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying various cards in order to make a successful payment?
    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (eg hotel) or to a PO box number.
    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.
    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.
    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods - MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. 

     

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Email info@apca.com.au www.apca.com.au