Following industrywide complaints from businesses being denied services by various buy now, pay later, financial service providers, SIFA investigated.
Initial enquires with Matthew Abbott Director of Corporate Affairs for ZIP Pay, and Michael Saadat VP Global Regulatory Affairs for AfterPay detailed that they were unable to provide services to our legitimate and highly regulated Australian industry, as their respective organisations were signatories to a code of practice administered by their industry association AFIA (Australian Financial Industry Association), that specifically discriminates against lawful firearms businesses.
The AFIA code states in section 8.7 (f): (that members) Take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure our Merchants or Retail Partners that we have a direct relationship with will not provide our BNPL Products or Services for online gambling, retail gambling, gambling at domestic or offshore casinos and the purchase of firearms.
In addressing this with the AFIA, they were very quick to pass the buck back on their members including ZIP Pay and AfterPay, advising that they were the ones who developed and agreed the Code.
In discussions with all parties, none understood the highly regulated regime in which firearms businesses operate, nor did they understand the legal process of purchasing a firearm. Further, no one could actually advise why they specifically targeted the sale of firearms.
Following further representations from SIFA highlighting that Australian firearms businesses sell items other than firearms, AfterPay agreed to no longer refuse our industry outright, but remained firm that the purchase of firearms and ammunition through their service will remain prohibited. AfterPay have since provided this information sheet for the Australian shooting industry.
Disappointingly, Zip Pay doubled down, advising they will continue to discriminate against our industry entirely. In an email received by James Walsh, Executive Officer of SIFA, Zip Pay stated: “The reason we prohibit firearms retailers from offering Zip, when the BNPL code prohibits only the sale of firearms, is because Zip is technically unable to collect basket-level SKU data (product level data). We do not know if the retailers is (sic) using Zip to buy a firearm or camping gear. As such, because we cannot satisfy ourselves to this level of detail, to comply with the Code we adopt a wider prohibition blocking the retailer” .
The AFIA has advised SIFA that their industry Code of practice is to be reviewed before March 2023. SIFA has committed to being part of this process to ensure that the Australian shooting industry is given a fair hearing and this discriminatory Code is amended.
What can you do?
If you are a Zip Pay or AfterPay customer who is disappointed by this blatant discrimination towards our industry, we encourage you to let these businesses know. Write to them, or better still, boycott their services all together!