The Reserve Bank of Australia had an outage Thursday (Aug. 31) that lasted around three hours and impacted payments throughout the market.
According to Reuters, the Reserve Bank of Australia tweeted that maintenance of its “fire control systems caused an interruption of power to the bank’s main data center” and that it was “re-establishing full services.” The bank noted that the outage did not impact the infrastructure that supports its New Payments Platform (NPP), Australia’s real-time payments service.
Later in the day, the bank tweeted that retail and corporations could make and receive payments without indicating if the system was completely restored. Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia’s second-largest lender, told Reuters the outage did impact Australian financial institutions, but did not provide more details, while a spokesman for the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said it knew about the outage but that services were restored and that it is now operating normally.
It’s been six months since the NPP, designed by a few intrepid financial institutions (FIs) and financial services providers, went live, helping Australia embrace a brave new world of instant payments. The platform seeks to bring faster payments and transactions — marked by richer data — to stakeholders, ranging from businesses and consumers to the government. The backbone was built through the efforts of the Reserve Bank of Australia and wholesale payment services providers, which cover just about all of the country’s financial landscape by market share, across 65 retail and business banking institutions.
Seven years ago, the country’s payments regulator called for a response from the industry on how to overhaul a 50-year-old batch processing system — and FIs called for the institution of, among other things, the ISO 20022 data standard and a decentralized addressing service, along with real-time settlement models.