How do I become a member of AICS?

To become a member of AICS you need to be an AFTA member and ATAS accredited.  The process is managed through the AFTA website as follows:

  • Complete the AICS application form by logging into the AFTA Membership Portal and agree to the terms and conditions. You must also provide AICS with last financial year (1 July 2016 – 30 July 2017) supplier lists and consent to share your current ATAS information
  • Once you have submitted your signed application form agreeing to the terms and conditions your business details will be provided to AICS approved payment partners (Acquirers and Payment Facilitators – APF for assessment
  • AICS has negotiated competitive merchant rates for AICS members and your business will be required to migrate to one of our approved payment partners if you wish to enjoy the benefits of AICS
  • When you’re approved by your payment partner of choice you will be contacted by AICS to confirm your coverage start date and when Contributions will begin to be deducted

Once you have been approved and accepted as an AICS member you are committed to the Scheme for that membership year.

Does completing the AICS application mean I have to accept an offer from our payment partners?

No.

The application process allows AICS to provide your details to our payment partners so that they can contact you to discuss their various payment solutions.

AICS will only accept our application to join the Scheme if you select one of the offers from our payment partners and you are under no obligation to proceed with any offer should you decide they are not for your business.

How much will the Contributions be?

Contributions are calculated as a set percentage on eligible transactions.

The Contribution Rate for the Protection Year 2017-2018 is 0.25%. The Contribution Rate may be reviewed and emended in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and governing rules.

The AICS Contribution is compliant with Reserve Bank of Australia, Standard No. 3 Of 2016 Scheme Rules Relating to Merchant Pricing for Credit Debit and Prepaid Card Transactions. The surcharge is charged in addition to the price of goods or services, for the relevant Merchant accepting an eligible payment.

Will there be any upfront costs or joining fees to join AICS?

There will be no upfront costs or joining fees for the Scheme.

Contributions will be paid at the time of a credit or debit card transaction. The AICS Contribution can also be levied in your credit or debit card surcharging arrangements as AICS is compliant with the Reserve Bank of Australia, Standard No. 3 Of 2016 Scheme Rules Relating to Merchant Pricing for Credit Debit and Prepaid Card Transactions.

Will I need to change my merchant terminal provider?

Maybe.

You may need to change your merchant terminal (acquirer or payment facilitator) provider if you wish to access the protections provided by AICS.

All approved AICS payment partners will be able to provide for both offline (physical terminal in store) and online (online portal to allow customers to pay for travel products they have purchased) services.

Can I have a merchant terminal provider and not move who my business banks with?

Yes.

While some businesses have their merchant terminals provided by the same bank as they have their business accounts with, it is possible and normal to have your bank and merchant terminal provider with different suppliers.

When will AICS start providing protection for travel agents?

AICS will commence coverage for those ATAS travel agents that have been approved to join the Scheme from 1 September 2017.

For travel agents that have not been approved before this date coverage will commence once you have been notified of your approval.

How can I access the protection?

Protection is available to current Members in each Protection Year when their contributions are paid to AICS.

Each protection year is from 1 July to 30 June (except for those Members who join midway through the year in which case the Protection Year commences on the date that they join and ends on 30 June).

Your Membership continues automatically until you terminate it or you are no longer eligible for membership.

Can I cancel membership and the protection?

Yes.

You must notify AICS at least 90 days before the end of the protection year if you want to end your membership. The protection year ends on 30 June in each year, so your cancellation notice must be received by AICS by 31 March.

What type of transactions does AICS provide protections for?

AICS will provide coverage for payments where a client uses a credit or debit card that has chargeback rights.

MasterCard, Visa and American Express credit and debit cards have chargeback rights and therefore the AICS Contribution will be automatically applied by the payment partners for these cards.

Will all types of chargebacks be covered?

No.

AICS will only provide protection if a supplier collapses and does not provide the product and the client invokes a successful chargeback request.

How do I claim on AICS?

It is important to notify AICS as soon as possible if you need to make a claim.

You have ten (10) days from the date you become aware of the financial loss to lodge your claim. Please forward all clams enquiries to claims@aics.org.au.

Can a client claim through AICS?

No.

Only AICS members will be able to claim on the Scheme.

What is a merchant terminal?

A merchant terminal is commonly referred to as a EFTPOS terminal and is a physical device that is located in store.

What is an online payment portal?

A payment portal enables a client to pay for goods or services directly from a travel agents website.  An online payment portal may also allow your clients to pay straight from the invoice you issue them.