Thursday 1 February 2018

Real-time payments

The finance industry has been working on a platform to allow real time transfer of funds between bank accounts. Currently, payments can take a day or two to be received between different banks as they need to go through a clearing house to be processed. The New Payments Platform (NPP) has been developed by industry partners to enable real-time clearing of funds between banks. This has been under development since 2012, with the Reserve Bank aiming to achieve a real-time payment system by 2016. Last year the system was tested in a limited rollout to some financial services companies. One of the first companies to use utilise this platform is Bpay. They are rolling out a new payment service this year called Osko ( Individuals will be able to register their mobile number or email address with their bank which can be used as an identifier for payments to them. This will make it easier to know how to pay someone (no more bsb and bank account numbers required) and the payments can be made instantly at any time. There will be a 280 character limit for the payment description, which allows for more details to be included than is currently possible.

As the NPP becomes more widely available, companies will be able to use this for payroll and superannuation payments. This will enable payments to be received in near real time and allow documents to be included with the payments (such as payslips). Payments will no longer be restricted to  business hours, making it easier to achieve payment deadlines. This will depend on industry making the most of the NPP but this is likely to change how payments are made in Australia. Watch this space as things will be changing in 2018. For more details visit the New Payments Platform Australia website (