Our payment systems team offers a comprehensive service, consisting of experts across banking and finance, financial services regulation (including anti-money laundering), commercial arrangements, technology, privacy, competition/antitrust, consumer law, economic regulation and law reform.
We understand the practical operations of payment systems and how these fit within the New Zealand regulatory landscape. Our work spans the full spectrum of payments advice, including in relation to payment service and software providers, payment switches and payment gateways, and arrangements for sponsor banks, merchant acquirers and electronic transactions. We are also at the forefront of developments in this area, advising on New Zealand's move towards open banking and the introduction of new payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies and buy-now-pay-later.
As with other areas of financial regulation, payment systems are heading for more extensive regulation. The recent passing of the Financial Markets Infrastructure Act 2021 recognises the economy's heavy reliance on certain key financial market infrastructures (FMIs), including payment systems, such as NZ Clear and the Exchange Settlement Account System. This new legislative framework is aimed at regulating FMIs and in particular 'systemically important' FMIs.
Internationally (Australia, UK and the EU), the trend has been towards heavier economic regulation of payment systems, including to promote competition. New Zealand's Retail Payment System Act 2022 establishes a regulatory regime for retail payment networks and their participants. The Visa and Mastercard consumer debit and credit card networks are designated under the Act, and are subject to interchange fees caps, but the Commerce Commission has the ability to designate other retail payment networks with a view to promoting competition and efficiency in the retail payment system for the long-term benefit of merchants and consumers in New Zealand.
Open banking refers to technology (typically APIs) used by banks and financial institutions to share customer data with third party service providers, enabling them to provide a range of different services, from alternative payment mechanisms to enhanced budgeting and accounting software. Open banking has the potential to increase competition in the financial services industry and give customers greater control over their personal data. However, open banking also raises concerns around privacy and cyber-security, which require careful consideration.
The UK, EU and Australia have already taken steps to implement open banking, and the New Zealand Government has been watching closely. The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has been encouraging the industry to continue its progress towards developing an open banking framework. This led to Payments NZ releasing its API Centre, an industry driven initiative designed to centralise payment API standards in New Zealand and provide a sandbox environment for developers to test their open banking products against those standards. The New Zealand Government confirmed its decision to establish a Consumer Data Right (CDR) framework for New Zealand, with legislation to be introduced by the end of 2022.
Our payment systems experience includes:
Partner, Competition and Antitrust
Partner, Technology and Digital
Partner, Banking and Finance
Senior Associate, Banking and Finance
Partner, Public Law and Regulation
Banking and Finance
Technology and Digital
Competition and Antitrust