“It’s official”: New Payments Platform launches


Five years in development, 60 banking and financial institutions signed on, the long-anticipated new payments platform (NPP) made its official launch today.

More than 60 financial institutions have signed onto the platform, including Australia’s big four banks – The Commonwealth Bank, The National Australia Bank, Westpac, and ANZ – as well as major credit unions and building societies across the country.

While the platform was ‘soft-launched’ in November last year, supporting limited funds transfers across a select group of financial institutions, today marks the official public launch of the real-time payments infrastructure.

Considered one of the most significant changes to Australia’s payments infrastructure in decades, the network will effectively supersede the existing batch payments clearing system, supporting near-instant money transfers between institutions at any time of the day. NPP’s real-time settlements will be backed by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Fast Settlement Service.

The new network will also support significantly more accompanying data with payments, as well as a new PayID service, which will allow customers to create unique alphanumeric payment identities, rather than relying on BSBs and account numbers.

NPP chief executive, Adrian Lovney, said the NPP will offer a significant leap forward in Australia’s payments capability, boosting business activity and consumer convenience, reducing “the amount of time it takes to move money between accounts at different banks, which can sometimes be as long as two to three days,” he said.

The first overlay services to officially launch on the NPP, BPAY’s Osko service will allow individuals to make person-to-person payments “in under a minute, maintaining the security of their usual online or mobile banking service,” according to John Banfield, BPAY chief executive.

Lovney expects more overlay services will jump onto the platform as more Australians embrace the opportunities afforded by the real-time payments infrastructure.

“We do expect that within about a month after launch, around four in five Australian accounts will be connected to the Platform, through a wide and diverse range of banks, building societies, and credit unions. And because the Platform can support multiple products… the ways in which consumers and businesses will benefit will only grow and evolve over time.”