Cards and Accepting Devices


Debit and credit cards are the most common non-cash payment method used by Australian consumers today. Cards are used for in-store purchases using a POS (Point of Sale) terminal, to withdraw cash from an ATM, or for purchases over the phone or on the internet.

In Australia, commercial schemes provide debit and credit payment systems. These commercial schemes are the international credit and debit card schemes (eg Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners etc) and the domestic debit card scheme, EFTPOS Payments Australia Limited ( ePAL). Each scheme administrator maintains rules and standards for participation in its particular scheme.

APCA administers the Consumer Electronic Clearing System (CECS).  Until the commencement of operation of ePal in January 2011, CECS provided the rules for the exchange of both domestic ATM and debit card transactions.  ePal has now assumed responsibility for the domestic debit card system (EFTPOS), subject to transitional arrangements with APCA, which have been put in place to minimize duplication in the case of common requirements.

CECS also provides device security rules and standards, which relate to the approval and operation of devices deployed to accept debit card transactions and monitors CECS members’ compliance with such standards.  Transitional arrangements are in place between APCA and ePal that enable Participants in  ePal’s scheme to rely upon these device security standards.

CECS provides rules for the exchange of domestic ATM transactions.

Device Security and Evaluations

APCA security standards apply to ATMs, EFTPOS terminals and other PIN entry devices used for CECS transactions in Australia. This section provides information on APCA's device evaluation and approval process.

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Access Arrangements

APCA has responsibility for administration of the EFTPOS Access Code and ATM Access Code.

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