Australia is preparing to launch its real-time payments infrastructure—the New Payments Platform (NPP)—in early 2018 to support its growing digital economy.

According to an article on the website, the NPP will support payments between business accounts and customers at different financial institutions in Australia by providing “fast, versatile, data-rich payments any time and any day.”

The plan was first announced in 2013 by the Australian Payments Clearing Association and began as an industry-wide collaborative program as industry participants called for payment innovations and an updated payments system for the country.

The NPP supports near real-time payments clearing and settlement, allowing residents to use their phone number, email address or an Australian Business Number (ABN) to facilitate transfer of funds through its PayID capability, said. The NPP connects the participating financial institutions with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Fast Settlement Service, allowing for real-time settlement between participating institutions.

NPP says payments will be able to be made in real time, with close to immediate funds availability to the recipient; 24/7 availability that enables payments to be made and received even outside normal banking hours; data-enriched payments with more complete remittance information attached; and, simple addressing enabled by the PayID system using common identifiers.

Participating institutions include: the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Australian Settlements Limited (ASL), Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citigroup, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cuscal, HSBC Bank Australia, Indue, ING Direct, Macquarie Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), and Westpac Banking Corporation.

After its launch, the NPP is expected to reach about four in five accounts in Australia. The NPP’s base infrastructure is built by Fiserv and Swift, and adopts the ISO 20022 standard used for electronic data interchange between financial institutions or organizations able to move money and data.

Courtesy of Nicholas Stern, managing editor National Association of Credit Management