It's time for real time payments

Ever transferred money online only to find it takes days to get to where you need it to go? Or, even more frustratingly, had to wait three days to get the funds owed to you? We hear you.

The $1 billion New Payments Platform, or NPP, spearheaded by the RBA, is on its way. And while not every bank or financial institution will be on the NPP immediately, instant payment transfers will soon (very soon), be an expectation of Australian customers.

Queensland Country Credit Union is one institution currently working behind the scenes to roll out the new system in the first half of 2018. Executive Manager, Chief Risk Officer, Shawn Anderson says the NPP is part of Queensland Country’s commitment to developing and improving its offering to customers.

“The important piece for us is that we are relevant to our Members and we continue to keep providing the services they need,” explains Shawn.

“The existing system can be slow and cumbersome. If you transfer money, at best it’s in the account the next business day, but it can take up to 72 hours. This new system is 24/7 365 days; there’s no hold up because it’s after 5pm or it’s a weekend. You transfer me money at midnight, I receive it in real time.”

Another key piece in the new system is the doing away with the clunky process of needing, and manually entering, BSB and account numbers to transfer money. Instead, you enter a person’s Pay ID which could be their mobile number or email address, whatever they have used to set up the Pay ID and link to their account.

“This new system is 24/7 365 days; there’s no hold up because it’s after 5pm or it’s a weekend. You transfer me money at midnight, I receive it in real time.” – SHAWN ANDERSON

“The NPP is trying to make it as simple as possible,” says Shawn. “If you want to send a payment to me and my Pay ID is my mobile number, you input the mobile number, the system checks that number, then you confirm that, yes, you want to send payment to Shawn.

“This is just the first piece. There are other services that can be developed in the future. Stage 1 is just being able to send payments – I send payments to you, you send payments to me. In the future they’re wanting to be able to request payments. So we go to the movies, I pay, then I send a request to your Pay ID for payment, and you can pay me back that easily.”

Shawn says that function though will more likely roll out 2019/2020.

The push for the NPP actually dates back to RBA’s review of the system in 2010, and has been under development since 2014. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that’s certainly the case with a complex system that will handle our dollars. In fact, in 2014 the RBA estimated $180 billion goes through the system each day. So there’s no room for error.

“For me, my involvement with the NPP is making sure we handle all of the testing, that we’ve got the linkage, it works, and the Member experience is a good one. And from the back-office perspective, that everything works as it should, we can manage mistaken payments, a fraud management system is in place, and that it reduces the workload for us as well,” says Shawn.

“We think there is going to be a lot more scope and ability with this system come 2019/2020. There are some real opportunities when you look at this from a small business perspective; a lot of integration can occur if you’re on a job you can invoice and make a request for the payment there and then. It will be really interesting to see the ways others come up with to use this.”

Originally published by Success North Queensland.