Payment systems, open banking and consumer data

The Government is working to ensure that retail payment systems operate in the interests of New Zealand consumers and businesses, and to support consumers to have control over their own data.

About retail payment systems, open banking and consumer data

Retail payment systems – such as credit and debit cards and EFTPOS – are used to transfer funds from consumers to merchants in exchange for goods and services.

Since 2016, MBIE has been working with the payments and banking industry to:

  • ensure that New Zealand’s existing payment systems are operating in the interests of New Zealand consumers and businesses
  • facilitate new ways of making payments, and allow consumers to share their banking data with trusted third-parties, including through the Payments New Zealand-led API Centre(external link) (such initiatives are commonly referred to as ‘open banking’ or a ‘Consumer Data Right’).

MBIE is currently undertaking early policy thinking on whether a Consumer Data Right should be introduced in New Zealand. A Consumer Data Right could potentially provide regulatory support for the development of open banking and data sharing in other sectors. A discussion document is likely to released seeking public feedback on the issue in the first half of 2020.

2019 letter to New Zealand banks

In December 2019, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi, wrote to New Zealand banks (or ‘API Providers’):

  • setting out concerns regarding the pace and scope of progress with the development of industry-led open banking initiatives
  • outlining his expectations for future progress
  • notifying industry about the commencement of work to determine whether a regulatory regime establishing a Consumer Data Right is desirable.

Read the letter to banks [PDF, 281 KB]

2019 speech to Payments New Zealand 'The Hub' event

In May 2019, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi, spoke at the launch of the Payments New Zealand API Centre about industry-led measures to promote payment systems innovation and make it easier for consumers to share their banking data with trusted third-parties.

Read the full speech

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(external link)

2018 update from Payments New Zealand

In April 2018 Payments New Zealand updated the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on the work the industry is undertaking in response to Hon Jacqui Dean’s letter of August 2017.

Letter from Payments New Zealand to Hon Kris Faafoi [PDF, 305 KB] 

Hon Kris Faafoi’s response to Payments New Zealand [PDF, 99 KB]

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.

Her letter:

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

Hon Jacqui Dean’s update to Cabinet on retail payment systems [PDF, 146 KB] 

Hon Jacqui Dean’s letter to Payments New Zealand [PDF, 61 KB] 

2016 Issues paper on retail payment systems

In February 2016, the Government asked 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, we 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?

We released an Issues paper addressing these questions in October 2016.

Retail payment systems in New Zealand — Issues Paper [PDF, 1.1 MB] 

Submissions received on the issues paper

The issues paper called for public submissions by 2 February 2017. We received 46 submissions representing views from card schemes, banks, merchants, consumer representatives, and other industry representatives. Redactions have been made to some submissions subject to the Official Information Act 1982. Submissions are in alphabetical order.

View the submissions on the Issues Paper