Department of Social Services

Republished: The Cashless Debit Card - Product-level blocking at the Point of Sale

Important dates

Opportunity ID
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 21 July 2017 at 5PM (in Canberra)
Closing date for applications
Friday 28 July 2017 at 5PM (in Canberra)
Friday 14 July 2017


Write a summary of your brief

The Cashless Debit Card (CDC) restricts the purchase of alcohol, gambling and access to cash and cash-equivalent products. To support the CDC, the Department of Social Services is seeking an innovative solution that will enable automatic product level blocking at the Point of Sale (POS).

What is the latest start date?
As soon as the supplier is able to do so.
How long is the contract?

The contract will run until 30 June 2019.

Where can the work take place?
Who will the specialist work for?
Department of Social Services
Budget range

About the work

Why is the work being done?

The Government is committed to reducing the social harm caused by welfare fuelled alcohol, drug abuse and gambling. The Cashless Debit Card (CDC) aims to achieve this by reducing the amount of welfare that can be spent on alcohol and gambling, and cash that could be spent on drugs. The CDC is also testing the commercial delivery of welfare payments.

The trial commenced on 15 March 2016 in Ceduna, South Australia and on 26 April 2016 in Kununurra and Wyndham, Western Australia. These locations were chosen on the basis of high levels of welfare dependence and where gambling, alcohol and/or drug abuse were causing unacceptable levels of harm within the community. On 14 March 2017, the CDC trial in both locations was extended. As part of the 2017/18 Budget, the Government announced the expansion of the CDC to two additional locations. A decision on these locations has not yet been made.

What's the key problem you need to solve?

The CDC seeks to restrict the sale of alcohol, gambling and cash-equivalent products (restricted goods). This is primarily done by Indue Ltd (the issuer of the CDC) using Merchant Category Code blocking.

The real challenge is mixed merchants – those that sell a mix of restricted and unrestricted goods. Mixed merchants include merchants like supermarkets that also sell alcohol and/or cash-equivalent products and eating establishments that sell food and alcohol (such as a licensed restaurant or bar and bistro). Currently mixed merchants are manually managed by Indue. This involves the merchant entering into a contract with Indue to refuse the sale of restricted goods to anyone using the CDC for payment. In practice, this generally requires the POS operator to manually sight the card and refuse the sale of restricted goods.

This manual arrangement presents an opportunity for non-compliance and workarounds.

The objective of the procurement is to engage a provider who can develop a merchant management solution that would automatically prevent the sale of restricted goods at the POS. The provider would be required to develop and manage the solution for the length of the contract (expected end date 30 June 2019). The solution should be able to be introduced into merchants’ existing POS environments. The Department will be most interested in a respondent’s ability to work with a range of different POS providers and any existing relationships a supplier may have with POS providers and retailers.

Describe the users and their needs

Merchants would be the primary user of your product, but depending on the solution, POS providers may also need to be involved in the implementation of the solution. Customers will also be interacting with the solution at the POS, but it is hoped the solution will not be customer facing; create excessive friction at the POS; or doesn’t unnecessarily impact on the customer experience.

What work has already been done?

In the existing CDC locations there are 49 mixed merchants in Ceduna and 47 in the East Kimberley.

It is anticipated that the new CDC locations will be regional with a larger merchant footprint than in the current locations. Market scope and reach will be confirmed once Government has made a decision on the future location/s of the CDC.

Who will the work be done with?

You would be primarily working with representatives from the Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will be responsible for contract management, and will identify and engage with mixed merchants in the expansion location/s who may be impacted by the solution. You may be required to work with mixed merchants who would be using the solution and their preferred POS platform providers. Depending on your proposal, you may also be required to work with Indue Ltd.

Any additional relevant information?

CDC participants are issued a dual branded VISA/eftpos debit card with an EMV contact chip. The CDC has a unique Issuer Identification Number (IIN). The Card is linked to an underlying individual bank account. Cardholders are required to enter a PIN at payment terminals equipped with a PIN Pad.

Where the supplier is a partnership or consortium, responses should clearly identify each entity and their proposed role.

The Marketplace Brief is stage one of a two stage process. In stage one, suppliers will be assessed on their ability to meet the required skills listed under Essential Skills and Experience and Nice-to-have Skills and Experience. This stage will be used to create a shortlist of suppliers.

In stage two, shortlisted suppliers will be contacted and provided with a formal Request for Quotation (RFQ). The RFQ will include further detail around technical specifications as well as detailed evaluation criteria.

Shortlisted respondents may be requested to provide a presentation to the Evaluation Committee on their proposal.

Note: for section ‘How sellers will be evaluated,’ the criteria listed under Proposal Criteria are an indication of how the final RFQ will be evaluated. The evaluation criteria used for the RFQ will be detailed within the RFQ issued to shortlisted suppliers.

Value for money will be assessed separately. Please be aware that the Evaluation weighting for technical competence, cultural fit and price are not reflective of any evaluation weighting likely to be used to assess the RFQ.

What phase is the work in?

Work setup

Where will the work take place?

There are no limits on where the solution development can take place. The solution may be implemented in and around the existing CDC sites (Ceduna and the East Kimberley) as well as the CDC expansion sites, which are yet to be determined. Tenderers should provide a solution that will achieve the same outcome regardless of where it is to be implemented. It should be assumed there will be a range of merchants that would need to use the solution including petrol stations, grocery stores and hospitality outlets.

What are the working arrangements?

Where possible, work would take place at the supplier’s usual place of business. The supplier may be required to travel to the locations where the solution will be implemented, if the work cannot be undertaken remotely.

Is security clearance required?


Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

The work order will be modified to include additional terms and conditions largely based on the SourceIT Contract. The SourceIT Contract is part of the Commonwealth Contracting Suite available on the Department of Finance’s website.

Specific provisions likely to be included in addition to the Master Agreement are:

- Clause 3: Duration of Contract

- Clause 6: General Obligations of the Parties

- Clause 8.13: Privacy

- Clauses 8.14 and 8.15: Anti-discrimination and Work Health and Safety

- Clause 8.17 Maintenance of records

- Clause 8.18 Cooperation with other service provider

- Clause 8.19 Harmful code warranty

- Clause 11: Acceptance (specifically cl 11.7: Failure of an acceptance test and cl 11.8: Supplementary tests)

- Clause 12: Warranties – Contractor

- Clause 15: Non-disclosure and Use of Information

- Clause 16: Protection of Personal information

- Clause 18: Third Party Indemnity

- Clause 20: Liability

- Clause 24: Disengagement

- Clause 29: Software development (specifically cl 29.2: Preparation of project plan, cl 29.3: Approval of Project Plan, cl 29.4: Preparation of Design Specification, cl 29.5: Approval of Design Specification, cl 29.6: Methodology and cl 29.7(b): Source code)

- Clause 31: Software support

The Department is also likely to include clauses surrounding Performance Representations and Warranties.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate sellers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • 1a. Experience developing, testing, implementing and supporting POS systems
  • 1b. Please provide examples for (1a), indicating the scope of development and with which POS systems
  • 2a. Experience integrating POS systems with secure payment terminals in the Australian market
  • 2b. Please provide examples of which POS systems and payment terminals for (2a).
  • 3a. Experience working with third party POS providers in the Australian market
  • 3b. Please provide examples for (3a)
  • 4a. Experience identifying individual products in a basket at the POS
  • 4b. Please provide examples for (4a)
  • 5a. Experience developing and implementing a solution that can be used across multiple POS platforms and/or ‘smart’ payment terminals
  • 5b. Please provide examples for (5a)
  • 6a. Experience delivering solutions that comply with all relevant security, payment, legislative and regulatory requirements including international and Australian standards
  • 6b. Please provide examples for (6a)
  • 7. Able to provide suitably experienced and qualified resources for the duration of the project
  • 8. Please indicate the anticipated timeline for delivering this project
  • 9a. If this is a partnership or consortium arrangement, please advise what roles will be undertaken by each party or how you anticipate the work will be divided
  • 9b. Additional room provided for (9a)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • 1a. Experience in project management with multiple parties and stakeholders
  • 1b. Please provide examples for (1a)
  • 2a. Experience and capability to support POS systems in remote locations
  • 2b. Please provide examples for (2a)
  • 3a. Experience in identifying at the POS system the type of payment card presented by the customer at an integrated secure payment terminal
  • 3b. Please provide examples for (3a)
  • 4a. Experience working on POS systems with Australian retailers
  • 4b. Please provide examples for (4a)
  • 5a. Experience developing, maintaining and supporting software in secure payment terminals
  • 5b. Please provide examples for (5a)
  • 6a. Experience providing tailored reporting and analysis of POS transactions
  • 6b. Please provide examples for (6a)
  • 7a. Experience in training the users of POS systems and/or the providers of POS systems
  • 7b. Please provide examples for (7a)
  • 8a. Experience in researching merchants and their POS technology environments
  • 8b. Please provide examples for (8a)
  • 9. Please identify what you consider to be the main risk factors in successfully delivering this project
  • 10a. Any other relevant experience or capability?
  • 10a (continued). Any other relevant experience or capability?

How sellers will be evaluated

How many shortlisted sellers will you evaluate?
Proposal criteria
  • ability to meet time frames
  • approach and methodology
  • ability to achieve the objectives
  • ability to fulfil the reporting requirements
  • confidentiality in communication and security
Cultural fit criteria
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

Cultural fit


Seller questions

No questions have been asked or answered yet.

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