This page will be regularly updated with answers to frequently asked questions from members. 



Build and implementation:

System and functionality questions:

Accounts and roles:


Why is AFCA updating its IT systems?

Updating our IT systems allows us to provide a modern, efficient, and user-friendly experience for all.

The transformation includes new technology, streamlined processes and integrated systems, all designed to support fair, effective, and timely dispute resolution.

When will the new systems launch?

The new member portal, consumer portal and case management system will launch on Monday 17 June 2024.

Did AFCA members have any input?

Member feedback about pain points and frustrations with our systems and process have been a key input into the design process. These include:

  • Portal reliability and navigation
  • Document and file upload limitations
  • Cumbersome membership administration
  • Inability to see progression of cases and timeframes
  • Invoices and payment difficulties
  • Difficulty in accessing documents

Will members be required to transition to the new system as soon as it launches?

All open cases will be migrated to the new system from the time of launch, and members will be required to transition at this time.


Why is AFCA removing the three-day grace period for IDR/Post-IDR responses?

The referral timeframe currently adds 3 days to the 21-day deadline for members, allowing processing time for correspondence via post and emails.

The new system and portals will have live and automatic notifications; therefore, a grace period is no longer required.

This aligns with ASIC RG271 timeframes.

What if members believe a complaint has been referred incorrectly?

If a member believes a complaint has been referred incorrectly, they can raise a request via the portal for AFCA to review it.

Will the new portals and case management system impact timeliness?

Our IT transformation, including the new case management system and member portal, will help improve timeliness.

Automated notifications, more streamlined processes, and enhanced information and document sharing will enable timely dispute resolution.

Can members still raise an objection to AFCA’s jurisdiction?

Yes. Members can raise an objection to AFCA’s jurisdiction in the portal and will be prompted to tell us why, so we have the right information to assess these requests.

Can members still contact AFCA by phone or email?

Yes. Although members can benefit from automatic notifications and information sharing capabilities, they will still be able to contact AFCA by phone or email should they need to.

How will AFCA support vulnerable complainants with new automated processes?

AFCA employees will be able to identify vulnerable complainants to provide additional assistance, as required.

In addition, members can let us know if they believe there is a vulnerability we need to be aware of, and if additional assistance is required.

Will members be able to limit the information and documents that complainants see?

In most cases, an uploaded document from the member will be automatically shared with the complainant, allowing them to review its contents as soon as possible.

Members (and consumers) will be able to opt out of automatically sharing complaint documents in limited circumstances. Information about this functionality will be included in the member training resources.

The requests function allows members to provide explanatory notes and comments along with supporting documents. In most cases, comments provided in the free text field on a case request will not automatically be shared with all parties.

The exception to this is the Final Response request at the Referral stage. For the Final Response request, any comments provided will be visible to all parties and, as this is an automated process, AFCA will not review the comments before they are shared.

On other request types, if substantial information is provided within free-text fields, AFCA staff may need to manually share this with the complainant.

Sensitive or third-party information should not be provided within the free-text comments fields.

If members choose not to share specific information, we’ll need to understand why. In some cases, we might require this to be shared if we are relying on it to make a decision. We will discuss with members before we share information they have chosen not to share. Refer to the AFCA Approach to special circumstances for more information. 

Will out of jurisdiction complaints be automatically referred on to the financial firm?

Yes, complaints will be automatically referred on to the financial firm, giving them an opportunity to resolve the matter.

If members believe a complaint is outside of AFCA’s jurisdiction they can respond to AFCA and request we assess jurisdiction. A Jurisdiction Review request will end the referral period in the same way that it currently does now and automatically progress the case to our Jurisdiction stage. AFCA will manually complete the Final Response request within one business day of receiving a jurisdiction review request.

How will I know if a referral is an IDR or a Post-IDR referral?

All new complaints will be automatically referred to the financial firm for response at the Referral stage. Complaints will also have a sub-stage which is also visible on the portal. For complaints at Referral, the substage will indicate whether the complaint is an IDR or a Post-IDR Referral.

The substage and the Final Response due date will be automatically generated depending on the information provided to AFCA by the complainant party. If the member identifies an error in the information provided, a Due Date Change request can be raised through the portal for AFCA to review.

What happens if a complaint is lodged against the wrong financial firm and it is automatically referred?

If members believe a complaint is lodged against the wrong financial firm, they can use the new portal to inform AFCA and request we look into the complaint. AFCA staff will review the request and consider the most appropriate action. If we agree with the request we will reassign the complaint to the correct financial firm and the complaint will no longer be visible on the original member’s portal.

If a consumer decides to not use the consumer portal, how will members communicate with them?

Members will still use the new member portal to manage the complaint and provide documentation.

AFCA case managers will handle the upload of the consumer’s correspondence and documentation and share this to the member portal.

How will AFCA manage inappropriate behaviour in the portals?

AFCA’s engagement charter applies to all communication between members, consumers and AFCA, including communication through our new member and consumer portals. Our staff are trained to manage and respond to inappropriate behaviour, and we will continue to apply our engagement charter and internal inappropriate behaviour processes as needed.

In limited circumstances, where the behaviour is significant, we can remove access to the consumer or member portal and direct a party to communicate with us in writing or through a representative.

If a member has concerns about how a consumer is using the consumer portal, they can raise these with AFCA directly.

Build and implementation

Will old cases be migrated across to the new system?

All open cases will be transferred to the new system.

As migrating closed cases requires data validation, AFCA will also transfer cases closed within the last six months. However, if a closed case needs to be reopened, it will be transferred to the new system regardless of its age.

How long will closed cases be visible in the new system?

Closed cases will be visible on the system for six months after they have closed. Members should download any relevant information to their own systems within this timeframe.

Will the new system use the same case numbers?

New cases will be in the format XX-YY-ZZZZZZZ, where XX will designate the type of case, with all financial complaints being “12”, YY the year of creation and ZZZZZZ the unique case number. 

Migrated cases will keep their current case number with a new prefix and have ‘00’ as the year.

For example, an existing financial complaint case 999999 will appear as 12-00-999999, and a new case created this year will be 12-24-123456.

Will the new system use the same streams and statuses?

Our existing case streams (Rules, Complex, Standard and Fast Track) will remain and be visible on the portal.

We are simplifying our case status classification in our new system to four case stages - Referral, Jurisdiction, Case Management and Decision. Within each stage, financial complaints will progress through various sub-stages which will tell you more about the progress of the complaint.

For example, when a financial complaint progresses from Referral or Jurisdiction, it will be at Case Management stage with the substage, “Awaiting Allocation”. This will tell you it is in a queue ready to be allocated to a case worker.

Will AFCA be reviewing the complaint form and the questions complainants answer?

Yes, the online complaint form has been redesigned as part of the IT transformation.

How will the transformation effect the Datacube and benchmarking dashboard? Will the data change? Will we stop updating them?

There will be no changes to the Member Benchmarking Dashboard or AFCA Datacube upon launch so we can ensure consistency in reporting during transition to new systems.

Member Benchmarking Dashboard will continue to update daily, and the AFCA Datacube will have new data added every six months.

The method members use to validate their data in preparation for the AFCA Datacube update will change.

Will communication with AFCA Systemic issues, Code Governance Committee and Independent Assessor change?

At launch, AFCA’s internal system will be used by staff across all AFCA functions.

However, externally, members and other stakeholders will communicate with the Code Governance Committees, the Independent Assessor and the Systemic Issues team, (which will be known as the SARM (Systemic and Reportable Matters) team) through the same channels they use now. 

SARM cases will initially have case number and stage information available for members to view on the portal. We are planning to implement full SARM case management via the portal in a future release.

Systems and functionality

How do members create a new portal account?

Closer to launch, AFCA will provide information on setting up your account and login information (including passwords and two-factor authentication). Members will also have access to training resources like user guides and eLearning modules in May 2024. These training resources will explain how to create and manage your new portal account.

Will we be able to set up our accounts and assign complaints to staff ahead of day one?

Members will not have access to the new member portal until day one/launch. All open cases will be transferred to the new system on day one.

AFCA will support heavy users of our service (those that receive large volumes of complaints) to transition to the new member portal prior to go-live to ensure open complaints are allocated to the correct contacts on day one. To ensure a smooth and successful transition for these members, it is very important that you update all contact details before go-live. AFCA will share more information with these members closer to launch, including instructions for the transition.

Smaller members who receive few or no complaints, or who only have a small number of open complaints, will be able to create their portal account on day one. More information and instructions to create your account will be provided in May 2024. AFCA will also provide go-live support on day one and in the weeks that follow to support members resolve any issues.

Will financial firms with multiple entities be able to manage the complaints for their Group as a whole as well as individual entities?

Yes this functionality will be introduced in the new member portal.

The member administrator will be able to manage which entities are grouped. Member contacts can access all members they are associated with through one log in.

At our firm, managers don’t assign cases, instead, our team pick from the list of new complaint referrals that are registered. Can we continue that practice in the new member portal?

Members can assign roles to their staff members to suit their ways of working. For example, the new 'Team Manager' role may be the most suitable role for all team members that need more flexibility on who can view and allocate all cases, regardless of whether they are a manager or not.

How will members be notified of a new complaint?

In line with their individual notification preference, the EDR Manager/ Referral contact will receive email or SMS notifications which will direct them to log into the portal to see a new complaint referral. New referrals will also be easily visible in the portal.

If notifications are sent by email, doesn’t this mean we will still receive lots of emails from AFCA?

How you choose to be notified by AFCA about complaints and actions is up to you. Notification preferences can be set up in the new member portal.

Some smaller members may prefer email notifications, while others may want SMS notifications. This is because these members only receive a few complaints a year, or no complaints at all.

For our larger members with upwards of 50 or even 100 IDR contacts and multiple memberships, you may set your notification preferences to a minimum to reduce email and SMS notifications. This is because you’ll be logged in each day and will receive real time updates of new activities on your dashboard as they come through.

If I choose SMS notifications, which phone number should I provide and how many numbers can I provide?

Members can choose which two phone numbers to link to their contact record. Members can only provide one mobile phone number per contact. Phone numbers can be updated via the profile management section of the portal.

How will members be notified of changes to a complaint?

Case contacts will receive notifications according to their communication preferences, informing them about changes to a complaint, including new actions, documents or correspondence uploaded.

Members will be able to adjust their notification setting to customise this experience.

How will members be notified if a complaint is closed?

The improved complaints dashboard on the member portal will provide information on members’ cases, including when they close.

Members will be able to select notification settings to enable notifications to case managers when there are changes on a complaint file, including closure.

Will the new system allow access for other parties assisting in management of complaints?

Where a consumer is represented, both the consumer and representative can log on to access case information which will save time and allow them to look at information together.

How will members report errors about products, issue types or referral timelines?

If a member finds a potential error on a complaint at the referral stage, they can use the member portal to make requests for AFCA to review specific information on a complaint. AFCA can then change the information or timeframe if required.

What will the document upload size limit be?

The new member portal will have a significantly increased document size limit, with few instances where members cannot complete an upload. The document size limit will be much larger than current restrictions – around 475MB.

What file types will be accepted by the new portal?

A wider range of file types will be accepted, including .wav audio files, jpeg, email, videos and photos.

Will members be able to upload documents by ‘drag and drop’ into the portal?

Members will be able to upload documents to the portal via a request using a search function to find a file saved to a specific location and upload to the request.

What does “raise a request” mean?

Raising a request will be how members, complainants and AFCA will communicate via the portal. There will be general requests or specific requests that cover common case management scenarios. For example, when a member disputes jurisdiction on a case via the portal, this will be done by raising a jurisdiction review request. Our portal 'how to' guides will provide more information about request options and how to raise a request.

The request function will allow members to write explanatory notes or messages to AFCA about their request as well as upload supporting information to assist AFCA’s review of the request.

Will members be able to see which stream (Rules, Fast-Track, Standard or Complex) a complaint is in?

Yes, initially members will be able to use the export function to see the streams assigned to financial complaints. This will allow members to ensure they allocate cases to the case workers with the right skills set.

This information will not be visible at Referral (consistent with current state) but will be available if the complaint does not resolve and progresses to the Case Management or Jurisdiction stage.

We will look to make the stream visible with other case summary information in a future update.

Will the system include a conciliation booking system?

Following launch, case managers will continue to arrange conciliations through calls and messages.

However, once confirmed, we will send an invitation that can go into member and complainant’s calendars and the conciliation appointment will be visible on the portal. Conciliation conferences will be held as Microsoft Teams meetings. A phone dial in option will also be available.

If a document is uploaded in error, can a member retract the document themselves via the new portal?

There is no self-serve feature for members or consumers to retract a document once it has been uploaded to the portal. However, any party can make a request to AFCA, and AFCA will review the document before removing it if required. Once a document is uploaded and automatically shared with another party, it will be available to the other party until AFCA removes the document (if AFCA accepts the request to remove the document).

Can members open documents once they have been uploaded to the portal?

Yes, members can open, view and download any document they or another party uploads to a complaint via the portal. If a member requests that a document not be shared with another party, and AFCA accepts the request, the other party will not be able to view the document (and vice versa).

Can I see who uploaded a document to the portal?

The portal will show whether a document was provided by the financial firm, a complainant party or AFCA.

Can I see if a complainant is a consumer portal user via the new member portal?

No, members will not be able to tell if a complainant is a consumer portal user via the member portal. However, in most cases it will be apparent in the way you interact with the complainant and AFCA, and AFCA case workers can let you know.

If the complainant is not a consumer portal user, how am I meant to respond / share information with the complainant? Does AFCA expect me to email them?

No, members should use the member portal for end-to-end complaint handling. Where a complainant is not using the consumer portal, AFCA will facilitate the exchange of information with the parties as we do now.

Can a complainant choose to use the consumer portal at any time?

Yes, a complainant may decide to start using the consumer portal at any stage while we are handling the complaint. If they do, all information provided to AFCA up to that point will be available for the complainant to access unless the member has requested us not to share.

When AFCA moves to its new portals and case management system, and all open cases migrate, will existing complainants need to create a consumer portal account to communicate with AFCA and members?

When AFCA transitions to its new systems, not all complainants will be asked/required to create a consumer portal account because it may not be necessary for them to do so. For example, complainants in the very final stages of the AFCA process.

During the transition phase (when some complainants have portal access and others do not), members should still use the portal for all written communication. AFCA will then facilitate the exchange of information with all parties.

Where it is appropriate for a member to contact the complainant directly (e.g. in the very early stages) members may choose to contact the complainant via email or phone.

AFCA will strongly encourage all other complainants, including new complainants, to create a consumer portal account. After launch, new complainants must create a consumer portal account to make a complaint using AFCA’s online complaint form. Some complainants however, for example those with limited access to internet, low computer literacy or in other vulnerable situations, may choose to lodge a complaint via phone or email.

AFCA will provide more information and instructions in the lead up to our launch.

Can we still use email to share documents?

AFCA strongly encourages all members to use the new member portal to share documents and communicate with AFCA and complainants (such as raising requests). This will ensure all documents and communications history is linked to each complaint file. It also reduces the risk for error that comes with multiple touch points and creates less administrative work for all parties.

One of the key benefits of the new member portal is the reduction in emails and a streamlined and efficient complaint handling process. To achieve this, we expect members to use the new member portal to manage their complaints for the whole AFCA process.

Email correspondence will be available in limited circumstances and assessed on a case-by-case basis, however AFCA will ultimately communicate with members via the new member portal.

Will members be able to sync their system with AFCA’s new portal? Or extract data to use in their systems? 

Members will be able to download case documents shared via the new portals.

System integration is not part of the scope for the initial portal launch. However, this may be something we consider for a future release.

Accounts and roles

What role types are available in the member portal?

Member contacts can be assigned any of a number of roles including:

  • Admin
  • EDR Manager
  • Billing
  • Systemic Issues (SARM) contact
  • Code Compliance contact
  • Team Manager
  • Case Worker

Each member account must have only one EDR Manager, one Systemic Issues contact and one Billing contact and at least one Admin contact.

There is no limit to how many contacts can be assigned a Team Manager, Case Worker or Admin role.

The different roles are assigned varying levels of access and permissions. We will provide further details on the full list of different role types and their access levels in our learning and training materials.

Can one person hold multiple role types at the same time?

Yes, a person can be assigned multiple roles in the new member portal. For example, they can be a case worker and the billing contact if required.

Can multiple people be assigned the financial contact role?

Each financial firm can only have one billing contact role.

However, if a firm has multiple entities, then each individual entity can have its own finance contact, if under a separate AFCA membership.

Why do you need unique email addresses for all member contacts?

A key feature of our new member and consumer portals is that every user’s account has a unique email identifier. This email is a unique login ‘key’ which links the user to their individual contact record. This also allows us to provide secure access to an individual's portal account by ensuring their account is connected to their own email address.

Once our portals go live, we will be communicating with our members primarily through the portal. This means the need for a generic email address to receive complaint related communication from AFCA will be greatly reduced.

Can we still have a generic email address?

Each portal account must have a unique email address associated with it. If one contact from a member uses a generic/shared email address to establish the account, it cannot then be used by any other individual to create a different user’s account.

You will still be able to display a generic email address on the public search details by updating the organisation details within the portal. These details can be updated at any time by a contact holding the Admin role type.

What member contact information will be shared with complainants through the consumer portal?

A complainant party will be able to see the full name of a member contact associated with the Final Response request. Specifically, when a complaint is auto-referred to the financial firm for a Final Response, the name of the referral contact (the EDR Manager role) will be visible as the responder to the Final Response request.

Contact details of a member contact, such as email address and phone number will not be visible on the consumer portal itself. Details contained within a complaint response or associated file will be available within the portal documents for download by the complainant, unless the member has specifically asked us not to share.

What will happen if a team member is away? Can someone manage their complaints and receive notifications?

Member administrators, or managers with the appropriate security role, will be able to assign cases to people to manage their work in the way that they need. Multiple member contacts can be assigned an administrator or team manager role.

If a case worker is away, for example, any member contact with the appropriate permissions can reassign cases to the administrator or another case worker. This will allow them to manage those case and receive notifications where there is a planned or unplanned absence.

Which account / role type will receive automated referrals/registrations?

The member’s EDR Manager/Referral Contact will receive SMS or email notifications about new referrals, if they have elected to receive notifications. If not, the notification will go straight to the portal for the EDR Manager/Referral Contact.

A financial firm can only have one EDR Manager role as this is the point of contact for all new referrals. However any Admin or Team Manager contacts can also see all complaints and assign cases. This means it is not up to just one person to triage and assign cases.

What member contact information will be shared with complainants through the consumer portal?

A complainant party will be able to see the full name of a member contact associated with the Final Response request. Specifically, when a complaint is auto-referred to the financial firm for a Final Response, the name of the referral contact (the EDR Manager role) will be visible as the responder to the Final Response request.

Contact details of a member contact, such as email address and phone number will not be visible on the consumer portal itself. Details contained within a complaint response or associated file will be available within the portal documents for download by the complainant, unless the member has specifically asked us not to share.

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