Reserve Bank moves to bring Australia’s payment system into the 21st Century


Australian consumers can look forward to real-time, person-to-person payments instead of waiting one or two days for their transactions to be fully processed, as they do now.

According to RBA governor Glenn Stevens, the Australian Payments system is out dated compared to systems for real-time transfers available in other countries like the UK.

In his speech at the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) conference, Stevens said the payments services offered by individual institutions are limited by existing technology that governs payments.

Stevens said customers "expect to be able to download music or a book while they are sitting on the bus", but this expectation was not always met when it came to electronic payments.

He stated the bank would take “a stronger role” in setting goals for Australia’s payments infrastructure, parts of which were “a bit dated”. Mr Stevens said “the notion that a regulator should be involved in matters of innovation might be seen as inconsistent with the regulatory philosophy in Australia”, but he added that “co-operative decision-making between competitors is notoriously difficult” and the bank would “ensure any disconnect between the public interest and the business case is properly managed”.

“If we think about the rapid rise of PayPal, the spread of chip and now contactless card payments, and the enormous amount of energy that is being focused on mobile payments at the moment, there is clearly no shortage of innovation in payments,” he said.

The RBA is due to release the findings of its Strategic Review of Innovation in the next few weeks.

Click here to find out more about reaching out to decision makers from the Australian payments market place.

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