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BFCSA: Denise Brailey warns 16 year olds targeted by Qantas/Virgin's card mail-out. ASIC gives a dangerous Greenlight

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" Criminologist Denise Brailey, who runs the Banking and Finance Consumers' Support Association (BCFSA), said the airlines were using their loyalty schemes as a sort of "trojan horse" to push unwanted and potentially illegal financial products out to consumers.

“People should be writing to ASIC and letting them know their utter horror that these companies would be able to issue unsolicited products while the regulator gives them a green light,” she said.


MasterCards for 16-year-olds in massive frequent flyer mail-out


30 Jan, 2014 04:30 PM 

Qantas and Virgin Australia have embarked on the biggest mail-out of unsolicited debit cards in the country’s history, sending MasterCards and Visa cards to up to 12 million frequent flyer program members.

There is more than one catch to this unique event however. Not only are the cards unsolicited – a tactic which appears to breach federal payment card laws – but, in the case of Qantas, they are being sent to teenagers. Frequent flyers between the ages of 16 and 18 are required to 'opt in' to receive the products.

Both cards are pre-paid cards or debit cards - rather than credit cards - a fact both Qantas and Virgin’s Velocity loyalty program were at pains to point out. Consumers charge the cards with their own money and the cards are not linked to any bank or conventional credit account.

Nevertheless, according to an investigation by Nathan Lynch, Thomson Reuters’ head regulatory analyst, lawyers and consumer groups have expressed alarm over the mail-out, saying it is likely to contravene consumer protection laws.

But there is another catch: the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has provided the airlines with a “no action” letter, effectively shielding them from legal action under Section 12DL of the ASIC Act.....

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 31 January 2014

    Is this not what they in the 1970's when Australian Banks first introduced bankcard? Just sent them out to everybody with a credit limit if my memory is correct. Wonder if to do what they then did was legal?

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 01 February 2014

    Yes that is right Organza. I remember getting one from Nab sent in the mail, no questions asked. I think it was for $300.00 Big deal in 1970. Our house payments were only $59.00 per week. Can't remember how much a pie cost in the dim dark ages.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 01 February 2014

    Thought I was right for this article evoked even more memories. I actually went for an interview to work for them in 1972 - then just setting up in Melbourne - empty floor in a high-rise then when they were just set to introduce a computer system but did not hear anything more until some 4 weeks later when I got a telegram with a job offer but by then I had already taken a different job. Lucky escape huh!

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 01 February 2014


    Sorry made a typo, was in early 1974 I applied for that Bankcard job. The year before I landed one when they were setting up the new Medibank system but after 6 months of doing nothing more than doing the odd test run and knitting jumpers I was bored out of my skull and opted to move on. They were the good old days when one could pick and choose for jobs were so plentiful, what went wrong dare I ask?? Now you can't get a job anywhere and don't even get responses to those you do apply for!

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