Retail payment systems

Retail payment systems are used to transfer funds from consumers to merchants in exchange for goods and services. They include credit and debit cards, the EFTPOS system, as well as cash, cheques, bank transfers, and new forms of app-based payment.

The government is working to ensure that New Zealand’s retail payment systems are working in the interests of New Zealand consumers and businesses. This page outlines the government’s work to date on this issue.

2016 Issues Paper

In February 2016, the Government asked the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to examine whether New Zealand’s retail payment systems – as they operate at present, and as they may develop in the future – are producing good economic outcomes. In particular, MBIE asked:

  • Are consumers and merchants benefiting from ongoing innovation in payment systems?
  • Are card payment systems being used efficiently?
  • Are consumers and merchants bearing a fair share of the costs?

MBIE released an issues paper addressing these questions in October 2016.

Read the issues paper [PDF 1MB]

The issues paper called for public submissions. Submissions closed on 20 January 2017 and a total of 46 submissions were received. These represent views from card schemes, banks, merchants, consumer representatives, and other industry representatives

View submissions on the issues paper

2017 Cabinet update and letter to Payments New Zealand

Following the release of the issues paper and analysis of submissions, in August 2017 the then Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Jacqui Dean, wrote to Payments New Zealand, the industry body for payments:

  • Encouraging Payments New Zealand to advance its Payments Direction initiative, and in particular initiatives that can enable payments innovation to develop and offer a platform for viable alternatives to existing payment options in the New Zealand market.
  • Seeking improvements to the transparency and usefulness of information provided to merchants about fees for accepting payment.

Read the update provided to Cabinet [PDF 147KB]
Read Hon Jacqui Dean’s letter to Payments New Zealand [PDF 62KB]

2018 Update from Payments New Zealand

In April 2018, Payments New Zealand updated the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on the work industry is undertaking in response to Hon Jacqui Dean’s letter.
Read the letter from Payments New Zealand to Hon Kris Faafoi [PDF 305KB]
Read Hon Kris Faafoi’s response to Payments New Zealand [PDF 99KB]

The government continues to actively monitor industry-led initiatives and how the broader payments industry is improving outcomes for all New Zealanders.

2018 speech to Payments New Zealand conference

On 26 June 2018, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi, set out his vision for retail payments and open banking in New Zealand in a speech to the Payments New Zealand conference.

Read the full speech on the Beehive website