22 07 04 15:53:10

Cuscal's history of innovation in payments

Cuscal and its predecessors have been operating in Australia since the 1960s. For example, one of Cuscal’s forerunners AFCUL (Australian Federation of Credit Union Leagues), was formed in 1966 as a national voice for Australian credit unions and building societies*. Credit Union Services Corporation (Australia) Limited was established in 1997 before being shortened to Cuscal Limited in 2006.

Throughout our history we have used our scale, banking and technical knowledge, and position on regulatory boards and associations to champion competition in banking and payments in Australia. Our innovative and reliable banking products and services have enabled our clients to compete against much larger companies.

In recent years we have chosen to focus specifically on payments. We have also expanded and diversified our client base, bringing on larger Australian banks, international companies, airlines, fintech and retail while continuing to represent a large percentage of Australia’s mutual banking industry.

With the acquisition of Strategic Payments Services (SPS) in late 2014, we broadened our payments capabilities (especially in merchant acquiring) to allow us to offer our clients a more complete payment capability. The acquisition also diversified our shareholder base, bringing on Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Mastercard.

Cuscal is now considered to be the largest independent provider of payment solutions in Australia, with the widest range of products and services. Our proud track record of innovation in payments includes:

  • 1977. Launched Australia’s first ATM, in collaboration with Queensland Teachers’ Credit Union**.
  • 1982. The first to issue a scheme debit card in Australia***.
  • 2009. Launched the rediATM scheme to allow customers of smaller financial institutions fee-free access to a convenient, nationwide ATM network.
  • 2012. Started switching transactions for all our clients through our own payment switch.
  • 2013. The first to launch Visa Debit payWave in Australia.
  • 2014. Launched the Asia Pacific’s first HCE-based (Host Card Emulation)-based mobile payment capability, with CUA.
  • 2014. Acquisition of Strategic Payments Services Pty Ltd (SPS) on 13 November.
  • 2015. Launched our white-label mobile banking app
  • 2015. Launched a white-label, card -management system.
  • 2016-2017. Launched Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay – allowing our clients to be the first Australian financial institutions to offer their customers all three ‘Pays’.
  • 2018. Enabled more than 60% of the financial institutions that launched on Day 1 of the New Payments Platform.
  • 2018. Launched Australia’s first ‘instant’ digital card issuance capability, with P&N Bank, which gives end customers secure access to the full card details to allow online purchasing and digital wallet provisioning.
  • 2018. Inaugural Curious Thinkers client conference.
  • 2019. Launch of 86 400 and digital banking credentials.
  • 2019. Sold physical ATM assets and rediATM Scheme to an entity of the Armaguard Group on 14 August.
  • 2020. Open Banking Collaborative Data Exchange.
  • 2021. Sale of 86 400 to the NAB Group.

Watch Cuscal’s payment success journey up to 2018.

* Lewis, G. ‘People Before Profit, the Credit Union Movement in Australia’, Copyright Cuscal, 1996.
** Robinson, G. ‘Do you remember our first ATM?’,  Brisbane Times, 17 September, 2007
*** Visa Debit Australia, Discussion Paper, September 2001, submitted to the RBA.

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