17 10 20 18:03:17

Blue and white BPAY logoAs we race towards the launch of the NPP, the Industry Program has reached another significant milestone.

It’s exciting to hear that BPAY is creating the first overlay service, the Initial Convenience Service (ICS), for Australia’s New Payments Platform (APCA and BPAY media releases).

Due to launch in 2017, the NPP will facilitate faster, richer, more versatile payments in Australia, 24/7. Cuscal is one of the 12 original participants that are the architects of the NPP and will mutually own its infrastructure. While the NPP’s basic infrastructure, currently being built by SWIFT, will allow better payment experiences to occur the overlay services will actually make them happen.

Getting the first overlay service right is important to the success of the NPP overall and I think BPAY’s expertise will help in a number of ways:

  • Trusted partner. The launch of the NPP is only two years away, so working with an established partner which is trusted by banks, businesses and consumers is essential to keep things running on time. BPAY’s experience in collaboratively promoting a payment solution with all Australian financial institutions will help us get the ICS to market more quickly and smoothly, with a greater chance of speedy take-up.
  • Experienced at influencing consumer habits. BPAY has already been successful at moving the payment of invoices and bills to internet and mobile banking. This experience will be very useful in helping people understand, and then adopt, new concepts like payment requests and immediate payments. BPAY’s expertise will be useful in designing a well-branded ICS which resonates with users as well as an effective strategy for customer experience and shared industry marketing.
  • Familiar rules. All Australian financial institutions are members of the BPAY scheme and are used to working within its rules to develop payment interfaces; this should alleviate some potential implementation challenges.

BPAY’s solution for the ICS is a practical and sensible approach which will deliver more than the NPP’s Basic Infrastructure is capable of, without trying to be all things to all people. It will help to prove the potential of the overlay model and demonstrate that solutions don’t all need to be highly technical to solve customer pain points and deliver value to both payers and payees.

The ICS also deliberately leaves gaps which can be filled by additional overlay services over time, incrementally adding extra functionality to the NPP. This will be good for competition and help meet the objectives set out in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System (2012) that was the catalyst for the New Payments Platform.

The ICS is a straight-forward, low-cost solution which should ignite demand in the NPP – it’s a good choice for all of us.

Read more about the New Payments Platform, and Cuscal’s NPP Solution.

By Nathan Churchward, Senior Manager, Payment Products