Australia has officially launched its New Payments Platform (NPP), which allows individuals with accounts at different banks, building societies and credit unions to make real-time, data-rich payments to one another.
The system, which has been on trial with employees of financial institutions since November 2017, went live to the public at 12.01am Australian time on Tuesday February 13th.
NPP Australia said the platform was designed in a way that responded to gaps in other payment systems from around the globe, giving it certain “world-leading capabilities”.
Its key characteristics include a layered architecture that can support various, competing services and real-time settlement via the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Fast Settlement Service.
The NPP also uses a PayID addressing service that allows the payer to see the name of the person or business they are paying before going ahead with the transaction.
Over the coming month, more than 60 financial institutions will begin offering real-time payments to their customers, mostly via Osko, the NPP’s first overlay service, which was developed by BPAY.
While the option to complete financial transactions in real time will be the biggest immediate impact of the new platform, NPP Australia chief executive Adrian Lovney claimed that its potential goes way beyond this.
“The New Payments Platform has a unique layered ‘open-access’ design which allows for different entities to leverage the platform’s functionality in different ways,” he said.
“Innovative organizations can choose to build upon the platform’s capabilities to develop and launch ‘overlay services’ on the platform. These could be payments experiences, or they could be business applications that enable significant organizational efficiencies.”
Looking to the future, Mr Lovney stressed that the technology and design that forms the foundation of the NPP is “world-leading and highly scalable”. It should therefore have the capability to respond to future trends and changes in the payments industry.
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