The SmartCard is an enhances Income Management program operated by the Australian Government that sees a percentage of a customers income support payments placed into an account that can be accessed via the SmartCard debit card.  These SmartCards can be used in most locations that accept VISA or eftpos, but there are products that they must not be used to purchase.  New Product Level Blocking is something that all retailers need to be aware of an communicate to their staff to ensure compliance and a hassle free customer experience.

Accepting SmartCard payments

If a business does not sell any restricted items, there is nothing that needs to be done with the introduction of PLB, the SmartCard will automatically work at your business.

If a business sells both restricted and unrestricted items (for example, a grocery store that sells alcohol), then an appropriate method for the restriction of the use of the SmartCard as a form of payment for restricted items, must be implemented by the business.

Restricted Products

SmartCard holders cannot buy restricted items, including alcohol, tobacco, some gift and prepaid cards, pornographic material. The SmartCard can’t be used to get cash out.

Appropriate Restriction –  Product Level Blocking

Product Level Blocking (PLB) is a function on the point of sale (POS) system to ensure restricted items cannot be purchased with a SmartCard. The POS system and EFTPOS terminal work together to identify when a customer presents a SmartCard, and if there are any restricted items in the sale.


How to get Product Level Blocking

Getting Product Level Blocking is an easy, two-step process:

  1. Do the simple compatibility check.
  2. Follow the prompts to read and sign a Merchant Participation Agreement.

Your point of sale (POS) provider will then contact you to confirm a time to implement Product Level Blocking in your business.


PLB-accredited POS providers




















For More Information

Or reach out to the PLB Merchant Team on 1800 670 123 – Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm (AEST) –


Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)