Australian consumers and businesses would be able to transfer funds between bank accounts almost immediately, instead of waiting up to three days, through a service First Data Corp. is developing with Accenture and VocaLink.

Under the agreement, First Data will provide its processing services to a system based on VocaLink's U.K. offering, Faster Payments Service. The companies will use Accenture's banking and payments industry experience in the product planning and implementation, according to a Sept. 11 new release.

"Our ultimate goal is to provide innovation to Australian consumers, and we recognize that this can only be achieved through a cooperative approach and defined by a broad group of stakeholders, driven at the industry level," John Tait, managing director of First Data in Australia and New Zealand, said in the release.

The companies plan to seek input from key industry participants to collaboratively develop the technical, operational and governance elements for the service. Their objective is to offer a platform for payments innovation, consistent with the goals outlined in the Reserve Bank of Australia's Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System.

"We're excited by the prospect of helping deliver real-time electronic payments to Australia and supporting the national agenda for payments innovation," Sushil Saluja, managing director of Accenture's Financial Services group in Asia-Pacific, said in the release.

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