BasicsCard for businesses

The BasicsCard gives stores and businesses that provide essential goods and services another way to receive payment from our income managed customers using EFTPOS.

On 10 May 2017, we updated the BasicsCard Application and Merchant Terms, including Special Conditions for Taxi Merchants. We will contact existing Merchants about transitioning.


What is the BasicsCard

The BasicsCard is a PIN protected card that lets income managed customers spend their money on goods and services at approved stores and businesses.

If your store or business is approved to accept the BasicsCard as a payment method, you can use your existing EFTPOS terminals to accept payment from customers using their BasicCard.

The BasicsCard can only be used to purchase goods and services. It cannot be used to withdraw cash or buy:

  • alcohol
  • home brew kits
  • gambling products and services
  • tobacco, or
  • pornography

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If EFTPOS isn’t working, an alternative method of payment must be sought from the customer.

Only authorised cardholders or nominees can use the card.

Read more about Income Management and BasicsCard for customers.

BasicsCard responsibilities for businesses

We regularly do reviews to check you are meeting your obligations.

The BasicsCard Merchant Terms are your obligations as an approved store or business accepting the BasicsCard. The BasicsCard Special Conditions for Taxi-cab and Minibus outline extra obligations for these businesses.

If you breach these obligations, it can affect your eligibility to accept the BasicsCard as a form of payment.

Help customers keep track of their BasicsCard balance

If your business or store accepts the BasicsCard, you can help customers better manage their money by providing them with their BasicsCard balance after each transaction.

To do this, you need to activate the BasicsCard Balance on Receipt and EFTPOS Terminal Service with your EFTPOS provider.

It’s an easy and convenient way for customers to keep track of their BasicsCard balance, and helps reduce declined transactions due to insufficient funds.

Once you activate this service, your customer’s BasicsCard account balance will be:

  • on the EFTPOS receipt or EFTPOS terminal each time the customer makes a BasicsCard transaction at your business
  • on approved BasicsCard refunds, and
  • on transactions that are declined due to insufficient funds

You need to contact your EFTPOS provider to activate the service. Not all financial institutions providing EFTPOS facilities can support this service, or be aware of it.

If your financial institution wants more information or would like to upgrade their EFTPOS facilities to support this service, they can contact our Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk.

Declined BasicsCard transactions

If a BasicsCard transaction is declined, you should ask your customer if they can pay in another way. A declined transaction means no payment has been made and the purchase wasn’t able to be completed.

BasicsCard transactions may be declined for many reasons:

  • insufficient funds
  • incorrect PIN—if entered incorrectly 6 or more times, the BasicsCard will be blocked
  • exceeded daily spend limit
  • BasicsCard not active, which could mean the card has been suspended or cancelled

If any of these reasons appear on your EFTPOS terminal, suggest the customer contact our Income Management customer line.

Cash out transaction

Customers cannot use their BasicsCard to withdraw cash. You are not permitted to give money to a BasicsCard customer if they want a cash refund. A refund is to be returned onto the BasicsCard.

If a cash out transaction is attempted, the transaction will be declined.

Card not accepted

If, as an approved store or business, you receive the error message card not accepted you will need to contact our Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk.

This error can occur if you have recently changed your EFTPOS terminal, EFTPOS provider, or financial institution. To prevent this occurring make sure you let us know immediately of any changes to your EFTPOS arrangements.

BasicsCard transactions are not allowed if an EFTPOS terminal is unavailable or if a signature is requested. DO NOT complete the transaction if you receive the message Approved with signature.

You can contact our Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk.

Income management for customers

Income Management, including the BasicsCard, can assist customers to manage their money to meet their household needs and expenses.

Read more about Income Management.

There are many ways customers can check their BasicsCard balance and move money from their income managed account to their BasicsCard.

Read more about the BasicsCard.

BasicsCard video

Watch our BasicsCard Merchant video to understand your obligations as an approved business.


Before you can accept Basicscard as a payment method for your customers, we must approve you as a Basicscard business.


You need to know

Letting your customers know

When you become an approved BasicsCard business, we will send you BasicsCard material including posters, stickers and a cash register checklist. As part of the Merchant Terms and Conditions, you must display these products in your store to let customers know that you accept the BasicsCard.

If you would like more copies, contact the Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk.

Customer privacy

Approved stores and businesses are agents acting on our behalf, which means you may have access to the personal information of BasicsCard customers.

Customer information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 and the confidentiality provisions contained in law also apply.

This means you must:

  • only use personal information for the purposes outlined in the BasicsCard Merchant Terms
  • ensure that only authorised staff have access to any customer information
  • train staff to follow correct procedures when working with customers’ personal information
  • have secure systems and procedures in place to store and manage the information
  • protect the information from being lost
  • dispose of documents containing customers’ personal information using appropriate methods such as shredding
  • notify us immediately if you suspect any unauthorised use, copying or disclosure of customers’ personal information

Read more about your obligations as a BasicsCard business or merchant in the BasicsCard Merchant Terms.

It is a legal obligation that you protect the personal information of BasicsCard customers. This obligation is ongoing and continues even after the completion or termination of our partnership or agreement.

Personal information

Personal information is any information about a person that may identify them. This can include a customer’s:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • family information
  • image in any format
  • financial information such as banking transactions
  • purchasing history, such as BasicsCard receipts, and
  • account balance records including balance on receipts

Keeping us up to date

Once you are approved to accept the BasicsCard you will need to keep us up to date with changes to your business or EFTPOS facilities.

If you change or add an EFTPOS terminal that may be used for BasicsCard transactions you must let us know. Any new or updated terminals must be activated to accept the BasicsCard. Contact our Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk to do this.

If your business is sold you must let us know before the handover date. Approval to accept the BasicsCard is assessed against a business owner’s application. Approval does not follow on to new business owners. The new owners need to complete a new application, which will be assessed accordingly.


You must provide all BasicsCard customers with an itemised receipt for each transaction.

You must also keep a record of these itemised transactions for at least 2 years from the transaction date.

Read more about your record keeping obligations as a BasicsCard business or merchant in the BasicsCard Merchant Terms.

Prohibited goods

Alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling products cannot be purchased with the BasicsCard.

An alternative method of payment must be sought.

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Page last updated: 27 August 2017