11th Mar, 2018

Australia's New Payments Platform Goes Live (For Some).

Years in the making, Australia's New Payments Platform has gone live - for some. The New Payments Platform (NPP) is a collaborative effort on the part of Australian banking industry and regulators to deliver a 'real-time' P2P payments solutions for Australian banking customers. The genesis of the Platform has been some six years in development, as the Reserve Bank of Australia notes:

"In 2012, the Reserve Bank published the Conclusions of the Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System, setting out strategic objectives for the Australian payments system. These included the ability for users to make real-time payments; send more complete remittance information with payments; address payments in a relatively simple way; and make and receive payments outside normal business hours. The Bank invited industry to determine the most effective way of delivering on those objectives. It subsequently developed core criteria , expanding on the initial strategic objectives, in order to provide industry with a more detailed set of expectations and also to serve as a tool against which it could assess any proposals".

The end result, the NPP, is in effect two parts to make one payments system whole. PayID, the individual identifier that customers will use to facilitate both the sending and receipt of payments, and Osko the payment rails that facilitate the transaction. PayID allows customers to opt for one of three identifiers, an email address, a mobile phone number and for those operating a business banking account, an ABN or Australian Business Number (i.e. the Australian government provider business identification number). The video below provides further insight on PayID. Osko is an offering from BPay, another Australian banking industry collaboration that for over 20 years has been the primary bill payment system for Australian businesses and consumers. The mission of Osko is pretty simple, as the provider's website explains "Osko sends payments fast between financial institutions, 24/7 even on weekends! In most cases it will arrive in under a minute". The first Australian providers to launch the NPP did so in February of this year, but as iSky Research have seen first hand not all banks have had the same approach to launching - nor have all banks launched the NPP. Eager to understand the varying approaches of a mix of Australian banks of credit unions we took a look at random selection of providers and captured our findings in a series of videos shown below - but first, to recap some of the approaches that we saw. First, a number of providers, such as one of Australia's largest banks ANZ and Queensland based Suncorp, are yet to offer the NPP in any form. To search a database of current providers please take a look at the Osko website here. From there, some banks like ANZ's big four competitor Westpac have adopted a phased roll out - wherein the features of the NPP are progressively rolled out to customers across digital platforms. Despite multiple attempts across multiple customer profiles, we were unable (as yet) to access the Westpac experience. Some providers' including ING, Credit Union Australia (CUA), the Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo Bank, are currently only offering PayID services - thus, in short, the capacity to link a PayID to an account and receive payments but not yet send them. The Commonwealth bank also continues to offer its pay to mobile functionality. Others including G&C are offering full NPP functionality. However, G&C currently limit access to only one digital channel, the desktop web channel. Whilst providers like Bank Australia (which, despite its name, is one of Australia's smaller banking providers) and the National Australia Bank are offering the full range of functionality across a range of digital channels, which in this case includes mobile app and desktop web channels. To see the customer journeys currently on offer from a number of these providers take a look at the videos below (in alphabetical order), or contact us directly to see more with iSky Research. *** UPDATE*** ING Australia have now incorporated PayID payments into its experience, and we have added videos demonstrating this process in the desktop web channel along side another desktop web service provider in Bank Australia. Please scroll to the bottom of this post to see more.