B2B Payments

Australia Readies For Real-Time Payments

Australia is the next jurisdiction to embrace payments speed, with the country preparing for the rollout of its New Payments Platform (NPP), a real-time payments infrastructure, in the coming months.

Reports in OpenGov said Tuesday (Jan. 23) that Australia is expected to launch the NPP service in early 2018, about five years after the initiative was first announced by the Australian Payments Clearing Association. The publication said the NPP is not only a response to the demand for faster payments, but also for payments innovation and modernization as well.

The NPP’s official website highlights four key goals of the faster payments effort. One is to enable real-time payments and immediate availability of funds, while the government also aims for availability of the solution 24/7. Third, the government is focusing on data enrichment and the ability to provide remittance data connected to the transaction; and finally, Australia is deploying a PayID system that enables recipients to use their phone number, Australian Business Number or email address to facilitate transfers.

Reports said 13 financial institutions (FIs) are currently participating in the effort, including the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, HSBC Bank Australia and National Australia Bank.

These FIs will be linked to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Fast Settlement Service to enable real-time settlement between institutions that participate in the faster payments scheme.

Earlier this month, Italian bank UniCredit debuted its real-time, cross-border payments capability as part of the European Union’s broader SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme (SCT Inst).

In the U.S., FIS recently announced it would link clients of Fifth Third Bank to real-time payments capabilities offered by The Clearing House.

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