The New Payments Platform (NPP) will be arriving in 2017 and will be a catalyst for fundamental change in the way financial institutions, businesses and everyday people make payments.

Most people in Australian payments-focused companies are aware of this much, but at Cuscal we’re finding that people are a bit hazier on the finer details of exactly how the NPP will work. One part in particular which has been causing some confusion is exactly how the NPP’s overlay services work. What do they do? How do they interact with the NPP’s basic infrastructure? And, what do they offer beyond the promise of real-time payments?

Most people will experience the NPP through overlay services
The first thing it’s important to know about overlay services is that they’re going to be the public face of the NPP – the way that most people will experience it. Here at Cuscal we’ve started to think of the NPP like the internet and its overlay services as the websites, portals, apps and other online tools that make it exciting, interesting and useful.

As I mentioned in my last LinkedIn post, BPAY will be offering the NPP’s first overlay service, currently known as the Initial Convenience Service (although it will get a consumer-friendly name before launch). The ICS will be live from Day 1 and will add important extra functionality to the NPP by allowing:

  • People to make payments in close to real-time availability via mobile devices
  • Payments to be linked securely to documents (e.g. a remittance advice or tax statement)
  • People to request money from others (Payment requests)

The possibilities for overlay services are nearly limitless
What’s really exciting about the NPP’s overlay services though is what will be possible – just about anything! We think that one of the most valuable things that they will offer is the possibility to create great customer experiences and this is what we set out to explore in our new animation and white paper.

  • The animation gives a simple introduction to overlay services, explaining what they are, why they’re important and showing how some potential overlay services and might benefit businesses and consumers. Watch the animation.
  • The white paper goes into more detail about how the NPP’s basic infrastructure will work, the different types of overlay services which might be created and how this could all combine to create great customer experiences. Read the Cuscal Using the NPP white paper.

By Nathan Churchward, Senior Manager, Payments