Income Management organisations

You can accept Income Management funds to provide goods and services to customers.

Benefits

If you accept Income Management money from customers, your business can benefit the following ways:

  • regular payments from customers
  • improved cash flow
  • fewer overdue bills
  • less time and money spent on administering bad debts and service disconnections.

Online search tool

If you have a contract with us your business will show in our Find a business or organisation search tool. It helps customers check if they can buy essential goods and services from you.

If you don’t want your business to show on this search tool, you’ll need to tell us. Email the Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk to ask us to remove you from the search tool.

How to get payments

We can make payments to your business in the following ways:

  • by direct deposit using your BPAY biller code and the customer’s reference number with BPAY
  • via direct deposit into your bank account using your business’s BSB, account number and a customer reference
  • under a contractual arrangement if your business is in an Income Management area. If you choose this option, we’ll make payments to a nominated bank account and send you a deduction report
  • credit card over the phone for urgent requests for expenses like food and travel.

Customers can:

  • use their BasicsCard to buy goods and services you provide
  • choose to pay your business one off or regular payments.

If a customer’s Centrelink payments stop, payments to your organisation will also stop.

Call the Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk to find out how you can participate.

Refunds

You cannot give cash refunds at all. If your customer needs a refund, you must contact us and return the money to us. We will return it to the customer’s Income Management account.

Credit

If someone is in credit when they stop being your customer, you must contact us and return the money to us. We will return it to the customer’s Income Management account.

Fees

You cannot charge a customer a fee to use Income Management money for goods or services you provide. There are no fees to get Income Management money.

Restricted items

Your business cannot sell restricted items to customers using their Income Management funds. You cannot let customers do any of the following with their Income Management funds:

  • buy alcohol or homebrew kits
  • buy tobacco or tobacco products
  • buy pornography
  • gamble or use gambling services
  • buy gift cards and cash-like products
  • get cash out.

After you apply

If we approve you as an Income Management Schedule 4 or Schedule 5 organisation, you must comply with the following:

We will give you a unique Centrelink Reference Number (CRN). This identifies you when we pay you funds on behalf of a customer.

We may review your business at any time to make sure you are complying with our terms and conditions. If you don’t comply, we’ll support you to become compliant. If you can’t be compliant, we may revoke your approval.

Deduction reports

We’ll send you regular deduction reports detailing all your Income Management deduction information. These will be in your chosen format to reconcile against your bank account.

You can access these reports in Centrelink Business Online Services (CBOS). You can give individual staff members in your organisation access to CBOS to view the reports. To add a new user to CBOS, complete the Business Online Services - User Details form.

Deductions and Payments Application (DAPA)

You can view details about customer deductions and payments made to your organisation in DAPA. This includes:

  • individual customer payment details
  • payments sent to your organisation
  • future deductions.

Contact us

For more information about income management and your business, contact the Income Management and BasicsCard Merchant Helpdesk.

Page last updated: 15 November 2023.
QC 23186