PayPal has signed up to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) ePayments code of conduct, becoming the first major ecommerce brand to come under its remit.
The voluntary ePayments Code came into effect yesterday, replacing the 27-year-old Electronic Funds Transfer Code (EFT Code).
It introduces provisions for mobile banking and contactless card transactions, as well as consumer protections for mistaken internet banking payments.
ASIC has spent the past 18 months encouraging newer payment providers to subscribe to the new code, in a bid for a “more level playing field for participants” and improved consumer confidence.
PayPal and mobile payments firm Actient Mobile Solutions joined more traditional players such as the big four banks, credit unions and building societies by complying.
“Banking is not just done by banks anymore – there are numerous other payment providers,” PayPal spokesman Adrian Christie said, highlighting the British Oyster card as an example.
Like Victoria’s Myki, the Oyster card stores funds that commuters later use to pay for rail, bus and ferry trips.
Australian bank executives have also held up technology companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Square as future competitors in the payments space.
PayPal currently is the only company on finance sector regulator APRA’s list of “Purchased Payment Facilities” (pdf), a sub-category that appears to target non-traditional payment providers.
In November, the firm partnered with four point-of-sale device manufacturers to allow bricks-and-mortar retailers to accept PayPal payments in-store. Still, Christie said consumers did not consider it a bank.
Christie said he was unaware of any other non-traditional payment providers looking to sign on to ASIC’s voluntary ePayments Code. An ASIC spokesman did not respond to iTnews' query on the topic by the time of publishing.
ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said the regulator would continue to encourage electronic payment providers to subscribe the code.
‘We are pleased to see the increase in Code subscription, particularly by new subscribers who did not previously subscribe to the EFT Code,” he said.
“The Code is an important tool in the regulation of electronic payment products in Australia. We will continue to push those who offer consumer electronic payment products to subscribe to the Code.”
ASIC this week listed 101 ePayments Code subscribers. There were 170 EFT Code signatories in September 2011.