- About Secure Services
- Registering for Secure Services
- Troubleshooting Secure Services
- Fees and charges and invoicing
- Cancelling membership
- Complaint resolution process
What does it cost to become a member?
Licensees that apply for membership with AFCA pay a membership levy. The annual membership levy for a licensee membership is $375.55.
Credit representatives pay a one-time $65.98 application fee at any period throughout the year. Application fees cover AFCA membership to 30 June 2023. Payments are processed through Westpac's PayWay secure server using 128-bit SSL encryption
Read more about membership costs in the funding model fact sheet.
How long does it take to process my membership application?
We process membership applications every Friday. Applications received prior to 8am Friday will be processed and approved that week. Applications received after 8am Friday will be processed and approved the following week.
Once your membership has been accepted, we will send you an email to confirm, and provide you with a membership number.
How do I obtain a copy of my membership certificate?
Members can download and print their membership certificate through Secure Services. Refer to the Secure Services user guide for more information on accessing and using Secure Services.
How can I update my contact details?
The easiest way to update your contact details is via Secure Services. Registered member contacts can log in to Secure Services any time, from any location and update their contact details.
How do I withdraw my membership?
Authorised member contacts can ask to cancel their membership by completing the online cancellation form on Secure Services.
How can I process a name change for my membership?
You’ll need to send an email to the AFCA Membership Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please attach an ASIC Name Change Certificate so we can verify the change.
How do I let customers know about AFCA?
Guidance on how you can tell your customers about AFCA, including some suggested wording, can be found on the telling your customers about AFCA page on the AFCA website.
Can I use the AFCA Logo on my website/publications?
Our logo is available for members to include in communications advising customers of their right to contact AFCA.
About Secure Services (online member portal)
What is Secure Services?
Secure Services is a password protected online member portal accessed from the members page on the AFCA website.
Registered contacts for AFCA members can log in to the portal at any time from any location to view and manage complaints online, run reports, update contact details, view, print and pay invoices, notify AFCA of authorised representative changes, and much more.
What is available in Secure Services?
The services available in Secure Services are grouped into four categories:
- Case search and reporting functions
- Case management functions
- Membership administration functions
- Member resources
For guidance on how these functions work, please refer to relevant section of the Secure Services user guide.
What are the benefits of Secure Services?
Secure Services streamlines and enhances communication between AFCA and our stakeholders. The Secure Services available to members:
- enable you to administer your membership easily online
- provide tools for analysing the complaints you have been involved in
- provide secure access to up-to-date complaints data, contact details and invoices
- reduce the volume of letters and emails passing between us.
Registering for Secure Services
How do I register for Secure Services?
Listed member contacts can register to use Secure Services via the ‘register now’ link on the Secure Services login page.
I tried to register but my name is not recognised?
You must be a listed contact on our member database to register for a Secure Services login. If you believe you should be a listed contact on our member database, the CEO/MD contact for your organisation will have to add you via Secure Services.
Please refer to the “Registering for Secure Services” section of the Secure Services user guide for more information.
Who in my organisation can use Secure Services?
Anyone who is listed in our membership database as a contact for your organisation can register to use Secure Services. All contacts within the member’s organisation will need their own unique login and the services available to you will depend on your contact type.
Please note that each new contact has to register for Secure Services.
What are contact types?
All contacts on our member database are allocated a contact type. Your contact type determines your access privileges within Secure Services and how your access is approved.
Make sure you know your contact type before attempting to register for Secure Services.
What is my contact type?
We rely on our members to manage their own contact details, using the Secure Services functions designed for this purpose.
If you cannot register because you have forgotten your contact type, email email@example.com.
Note: For security we do not provide contact types over the phone.
What is an approver?
Approvers are responsible for managing who in their business can access the Secure Services provided on our website. When registering for Secure Services, the online form will default to which contact type is your approver.
You will need to know your approvers surname and email address when registering for Secure Services.
For additional guidance on registering for Secure Services, please refer to the “Registering for Secure Services” section of the Secure Services user guide.
Troubleshooting Secure Services
What happens if I forget my password?
As part of the registration process, member contacts create their login password. We do not have access to these passwords. If you have forgotten your password you can use the ‘Retrieve password’ link on the login page.
If you still have trouble, please contact us by phoning 1300 56 55 62 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reset your password.
I tried to register for Secure Services, but got a message saying I’m already registered.
Member contacts can only register once. If you’ve forgotten your password, please use the ‘Retrieve password’ link or contact us to reset your password. If you try to register and see a message saying your account is not yet approved, please phone us on 1300 56 55 62 or email email@example.com.
How many files can be uploaded?
15 files per upload with a maximum of 30mb per file
What file types can be uploaded?
.bmp .dat .doc .docx .gif .jpg .jpeg, .mp3 .png .pdf .rtg. tif .tiff .txt .wma .wmv .xls .xlsx
Are there other file limitations?
File names must not exceed 50 characters
Duplicate file names not allowed
File names must only contain English alphabet A-Z, numbers 0-9, characters _ ( ) - =.
Are there minimum system requirements?
The system has not been tested on all platforms. However, we recommend using the most up to date version of your browser.
What other ways can I send files to AFCA?
Files can be sent my email (firstname.lastname@example.org - limitations apply).
I can't view the portal homepage
If you are experiencing any issues logging into the Member Portal please refresh your browser using the following steps:
- Login to your Member Portal
- Press Ctrl + F5 for Windows system
- Press Apple + R for Mac/Apple
Please send your queries to email@example.com with any issues you may have with the portal.
If you experience any technical difficulties, please advise what you were doing at the time of failure and provide screenshots of any error messages (where applicable)
Fees and charges and invoicing
How are AFCA fees and charges calculated?
Once you are registered for Secure Services (and have the appropriate authority) you can access information on the membership levy, user charge and complaint fees via the ‘invoices’ tab on the Secure Services menu. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
How can I find my invoices?
Invoices are accessible via Secure Services. Please log into Secure Services and click on the 'Invoices' tab on the Secure Services menu.
How do I cancel my AFCA membership?
To cancel your AFCA membership, please send an email requesting cancellation to: Membership@afca.org.au
Please ensure you quote the applicable membership number in your email.
Membership cancellation deadline
Members have until 31 May to cancel their AFCA membership without being charged the 2023-24 renewal fee.
If a cancellation request is not received by this date, the renewal fee will be charged and is payable.
When I request cancellation, is my membership immediately ceased or is there a notice period?
Please note all withdrawing members are required to serve a 12-month notice period as stated in the AFCA constitution. This commences from the time your request is received.
The 12-month notice period allows customers to lodge a complaint in relation to prior financial services provided.
At the end of this 12-month period, your membership will automatically cancel. You do not need to take any further action.
What about fees?
Please note members are to finalise any outstanding fees on their account.
What happens if a complaint is lodged within the 12-month notice period?
Members will be required to handle any complaints lodged within the 12-month notice period.
Applicable complaint handling fees will apply.
If I cancel my membership, do I get a refund?
Application fees are non-refundable.
What if I cancel my membership before it expires, do I get a partial refund?
No. We do not offer partial refunds.
Complaint resolution process
How can I tell which complaints are lodged with AFCA and which are with the relevant predecessor scheme?
All AFCA complaint reference numbers begin at 600000, so if you have a complaint reference that begins with a 6 or higher, that complaint will be considered under the AFCA Rules.
How does AFCA work out if it can deal with specific complaints, such as whether a complaint is within its jurisdiction?
The AFCA Rules set out the types of complaints we can consider. The Rules were developed through extensive stakeholder consultation and have been approved by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
The Operational Guidelines to the Rules give more detail about how we apply these rules.
You can read our Rules and Operational Guidelines on the rules and guidelines page on our website.
Can I take enforcement action or any further steps in current legal proceedings against a consumer if they have lodged a complaint with AFCA?
No. As a member, you are bound by the AFCA Rules, which prohibit a financial firm from:
- commencing legal proceedings against the consumer relating to any aspect of the lodged complaint
- pursuing legal proceedings relating to debt recovery instituted prior to the consumer lodging the complaint with AFCA, provided the consumer has not taken a step beyond lodging a defence or a defence and counter claim. Attending a directions hearing is not considered to be a step for the purposes of the Rules
- taking any action to recover a debt (the subject of the complaint), protect any assets securing that debt, or assign any right to recover that debt while AFCA is dealing with the complaint.
An exception to these prohibitions is where we agree in writing to a financial firm taking legal proceedings or enforcement action. This will only occur in limited circumstances, such as where it is necessary to preserve property (the subject of a complaint) or where a limitation period is about to expire.
What is the process AFCA follows when managing complaints?
We encourage financial firms to resolve consumer complaints directly, using their internal dispute resolution processes. If this can’t be achieved, then we follow the process outlined in the complaint process map.
For more information please refer to the “the process we follow” page on the AFCA website.
When a consumer lodges a complaint with AFCA about me, what information do I need to provide?
The best approach is for members to be comprehensive in what they provide. This means providing all relevant contracts, account statements, policy documents, diary notes and dates, reports, emails, analysis, expert opinions, plans, notes, statements from staff (if applicable) and other documents.
We have developed EDR response guides for some complaint types, which outline how to provide a response to AFCA. Please refer to the member resources page for more information.
I’ve had a complaint lodged about me and I’ve provided you with all the information I have. What happens next?
At this stage we will:
- tell you and the consumer about our process and the next steps we plan to take
- give you and the consumer an opportunity to present your views to us
- give appropriate opportunities for you and the consumer to provide further information and documentation to support your case.
Can members ask for an extension to resolve a complaint?
Both members and consumers can ask us for extensions of time in which to respond to the complaint, if there are special circumstances that prevent them from responding within our requested timeframes. However, in the interests of faster complaint resolution, we grant extensions as the exception rather than the rule.
When would a decision be made by an Ombudsman and when would it be made by a Panel?
If a complaint cannot be resolved during the early stages of our process and requires a formal written Determination, we will decide whether a single Ombudsman or a Panel will determine the complaint. How we decide this takes several factors into account, including the type and complexity of the complaint and the type of expertise required to consider the issues.
What do I do if AFCA issues a Determination that requires me to take some action?
If the consumer formally accepts the Determination within 30 days of receiving it, it is the member’s responsibility to take the actions stipulated in the Determination.
How can I find out how AFCA has resolved similar complaints?
If we can’t resolve a complaint through negotiation or conciliation, we may make a written decision. All of our decisions are based on what is fair in all the circumstances, taking into account the law, any applicable industry codes of practice, and good industry practice.
We have created a series of approach documents that explain how we reach decisions about key issues. Please refer to the AFCA approach page on the AFCA website for more information.
Do members have the opportunity to comment on the way AFCA operates?
We encourage and value member input on matters such as changes to our Rules, submissions to our Independent Reviews and feedback on our approach to complaints. Also, all members have a vote at annual general meetings.
Can members lodge a complaint about AFCA’s service?
If you lodge a complaint about our service, we will investigate and consider the concerns you have raised and respond to them.
If your complaint requires further action, we will work with you to find an appropriate solution.
Complaints about our service must be lodged within six months of the related financial firm complaint being closed.
You can find out more in our service complaints and feedback policy and procedure.