The Australian Finance Industry Association, AFIA, the organisation engaged in self regulation of buy now pay later platforms has a code of practice for its providers. This, from their release:

AFIA and its BNPL members have come together and propose to release a Code of Practice for the BNPL sector. The final Code will be released and come into effect on 1 March 2021.

The BNPL providers, who under AFIA’s guidance have drafted the Code, represent over 95 percent of the BNPL market including Afterpay, Brighte, Humm Group, Klarna, Latitude, Openpay, Payright and Zip Co.

A world-first for the BNPL sector, the draft Code is in direct response to ASIC’s review of the BNPL sector (ASIC Report 600) and an inquiry conducted by the Senate Economics Reference Committee, which recommended the development of a BNPL Code of Practice.

AFIA conducted six-week public consultation which was formally extended until 6 May 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. As part of the consultation process, it was important to give additional time to key stakeholders to provide feedback.

The Code of Practice will be governed by a Code Compliance Committee (CCC). The CCC is chaired by Dr Michael Schaper. Jillian Brewer has been nominated by the Consumers’ Federation of Australia as the consumer advocate representative. Craig Pudig is the CCC’s industry representative.

Part C of the code relates to retailers:

PART C – MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR OUR MERCHANT AND RETAIL PARTNERS

Each Code Compliant Member will require its merchant and retail partners to meet minimum standards. These standards are to:

  • Act lawfully, fairly and ethically in their dealings with consumers;
  • Communicate clearly when dealing with consumers and in marketing and advertising materialthat relates to Buy Now Pay Later Products or Services;
  • Safeguard customer confidentiality;
  • Respond to customer complaints on a timely basis; and
  • Require that their employees or agents understand the standards and are trained to meet them.

Each Code Compliant Member will continue to monitor their merchant and retail partners to ensure they meet these minimum standards.

With many retailers using buy now pay later for payment in-store an online, being across the code is important.

We are across this because our POS software integrates with buy now pay later platforms such as Humm and the Zip suite of products and because several other card related players are entering this space.

Working closely with so many retailers, we are often asked about matters regulatory. Being across the BNPL changes since they were first mooted more than a year ago helps us to provide informed comments that can help local retailers determine the approach best for their business needs.