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Electronic banking code call

THE code of conduct covering electronic funds transfer should expand to cover all forms of electronic banking, an Australian Securities and Investments Com-mission-formed working group has found.

The ASIC chair of the working group, Delia Rickard, said the code currently covered only ATM and EFTPOS transactions.

“We want the code to cover all consumer electronic funds transfers whether they are conducted using telephone or Internet banking, stored value products such as smart cards and digital cash, more established mechanisms such as ATMs or EFTPOS or mechanisms that are yet to be invented,” Ms Rickard said.

“These new technologies offer consumers tremendous advantages in terms of speed, convenience and, often, price.

“It is important, however, that consumers can feel confident when using them that they have adequate protections in place.

The working group has put forward a draft code in three parts for discussion purposes.

Part A covers transactions involving transferring funds to, from or between accounts at remote institutions by electronic remote access.

It considers issues such as:

• How to allocate liability for unauthorised transactions

• Incorporating National Privacy Provisions and possibly creating EFT-specific privacy rules

• Providing disclosure of fees applicable to a transaction at the time of the transaction.

Part B covers stored value products such as smart cards and considers issues such as:

• Providing a right to redeem stored electronic value

• Allowing issuers of stored value products to impose security requirements on access codes

• Requiring the refund of lost or stolen electronic value where systems make this possible.

Part C covers a range of matters including permitting a code subscriber and user to agree to provide, by electronic communication, any information the code is required to provide.

It also gives a user the right to receive a backup paper copy of most communications, upon request, within six months of a transaction.

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