Billed as ‘a first in the Australian taxi payments industry’, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it ‘has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Cabcharge Australia Limited (Cabcharge) under which rival payment processors (third parties) will be able to process Cabcharge cards on their own in-taxi payment terminals.’
As the ACCC notes, third parties have, to date, ‘been unable to reach agreement with Cabcharge to process its cards on their terminals. This historically has limited third parties’ ability to compete with Cabcharge for the acceptance and processing of non-cash payments in taxis.’
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “The undertaking opens up this market to further competition and will provide third parties with the ability to process Cabcharge cards for the first time.
“The undertaking provides a clear pathway to facilitate third parties processing Cabcharge cards. If third parties obtain access, this will allow them to better compete against Cabcharge for processing revenue, as Cabcharge will no longer be the only terminal in a taxi that can process all forms of commonly used non-cash payment.”
Cabcharge Australia’s undertaking is available on the undertakings register, here.
The ACCC advises that Cabcharge has undertaken, for a period of five years, to:
- negotiate with third parties in good faith in relation to providing access to the system that will allow them to process Cabcharge cards;
- execute an agreement with third parties who apply for access in accordance with the provisions set out in the undertaking;
- provide to a third party which has executed an agreement any reasonable technological support requested by the third party to enable it to process Cabcharge cards; and
- provide access to third parties that have demonstrated they can provide processing services on the terms set out in the agreement.
The ACCC says 'Cabcharge has cooperated with the ACCC and has made a significant investment towards facilitating third party access, by developing software that enables third parties to process Cabcharge cards.'
The undertaking and annexures were provided following extensive negotiations between the ACCC and Cabcharge, and consultation with a number of industry participants.
The ACCC says it considers that acceptance of this undertaking provides a commercial and timely solution for third party processors and that it puts in place a clear access regime for appropriately qualified third party processors.
The ACCC says this outcome concludes its investigation, and facilitates the opportunity for increased competition in the market.