Australia’s central bank nears rollout of faster payments platform

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Australia’s central bank is set to deploy a new, faster payments system enabling near real-time payments for consumers and businesses that will roll out in 2017.

The Reserve Bank of Australia recently released details of its New Payments Platform (NPP), an open-architecture approach for digital payments making it possible for consumers to send and receive funds using a single identifier, such as a mobile phone number of an email address in place of a bank routing address and account number.

Payment messages sent via NPP will accommodate detailed remittance information, compared with the existing direct payments system where information is restricted to 18 characters, Australia’s central bank said. Currently bank-to-bank funds transfers take about three days, according to reports.

“The NPP is being developed via industry collaboration to enable households, businesses and government agencies to make simply addressed payments, with near real-time funds availability to the recipient, on a 24/7 basis,” the bank explained on its website. The NPP also will support “overlay” services so providers may build their own payment innovations using the central bank’s platform.

Australia’s banking authority began working on the NPP in 2012 with cooperation from more than a dozen national banks that participated in committees to steer its development.

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