Supporting Dual-Network Debit Cards in Australia

What is a dual-network debit card?

Most Australian-issued debit payment cards display two debit payment networks – eftpos (eftpos Payments Australia Limited) and another card network (e.g., Mastercard debit, Visa debit). Payments using a card displaying two debit payment networks may be processed through either network, notwithstanding the logo displayed when a customer enters their payment information.

What is least-cost routing / merchant-choice routing?

As part of its Conclusions to the Review of Retail Payments Regulation in October 2021, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) expects all acquirers, payment facilitators and gateways to offer and promote least-cost routing functionality ("LCR", also called "merchant choice routing") to Australian merchants in both device-present (in-person) and device-not-present (online) environments.

LCR occurs when a customer makes a payment with their dual-network debit card and the transaction is deliberately routed to particular debit networks rather than letting all transactions flow to the default network as set by card issuers and/or card schemes. The choice of debit network may be based on several different factors, such as which network is the lowest cost to accept, or whether the merchant has a particular preference of network.

How does Stripe implement least-cost routing / merchant-choice routing?

Stripe will automatically implement least-cost routing for all of its Australian merchants.

Transactions made using eftpos dual-network debit cards will generally route through eftpos (based on lowest average costs), provided that the transaction type can be supported by eftpos [0].

For online environments, we recommend that you inform your customers that whenever they use a dual-network debit card, payments may be processed through either debit network. For guidelines on best practice, refer to our eftpos online documentation.

If you’d like to opt-out of least-cost routing, and require that eftpos is never the default network for any payments, please contact support.

[0] While Stripe endeavors to route such transactions through eftpos, other factors may impact which network a transaction is routed through, including: (1) technical availability, and (2) authorization rate considerations. Changes in the network through which these transactions are routed may result in changes to merchant transaction costs. For further information, refer to the “integration” sections of our in-person and online eftpos documentation, or contact support.

Is “least-cost routing” / “merchant-choice routing” compatible with Tap to Pay?

Least-cost routing is not supported on Tap to Pay payments in Australia.

How does the Link Payment Method affect least-cost routing?

Adding the Link Payment Method to your checkout page auto-fills your customers’ payment and shipping information to enable faster checkouts. If your customer has saved a dual-network debit card to their Link account, the payment may be processed through either network in the same way as if your customer chooses to input their card details at checkout.