Australian Gift Cards – Additional Consumer Protections
By Jim Bulling, Edwin Tan and Elise Hamblin
Every year, Australian consumers suffer an estimated loss of $70 million through gift cards expiring before use. On 18 October 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Gift Cards) Act 2018 (Gift Card Act) was passed in an effort to reduce this loss. Fintech card issuers should be aware of the upcoming changes and start making preparations to ensure that they continue to be compliant with the regulatory requirements.
What will change?
The Gift Card Act amends the Australian Consumer Law to create a national regime where:
- gift cards must have a minimum expiry period of three years;
- expiry information on gift cards must be prominently displayed; and
- the charging of fees (except certain prescribed fees) after a gift card has been supplied will be prohibited.
We expect that the amendments will not apply to reloadable cards.