New Payments Platform allows Australians to make instant electronic payments

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Aussie dollars
Australian dollar denominations shown in a photo illustration at a currency exchange in Sydney, Australia, June 7, 2016. Reuters/Jason Reed

The New Payments Platform (NPP) was launched on Tuesday, giving Australians the ability to make instant electronic payments whenever they want to. This means no more wait time for payments and bank transfers to arrive in the account, making payments both simpler and faster.

With the new platform, Australians can now transfer money 24/7 on any day of the whole week. Transferring money to each other will not be a hassle even on weekends and public holidays.

There will be no more three-day waits for transfers between accounts of different banks. The platform allows Australians to be able to pay businesses, pay a tradesperson instantly and split restaurants bills.

Another benefit of NPP is that customers can include additional information on their payments like additional invoices and receipts. Bank customers will no longer need to remember BSBs and account numbers to make or receive payments. NPP allows customers to see the names of businesses and individuals before finalising payment for added peace of mind.

About 60 banks, credit unions and building societies will initially be connected to the NPP. The number is expected to grow in the coming months.

Bank customers will be contacted about when and how to access the new services. They will also be asked to nominate a PayID code like an email address, ABN or a phone number.

Thirteen key Australian institutions have collaboratively designed and built the platform. Among these institutions were the Reserve Bank of Australia and the major banks with the Turnbull’s government support.

Other financial institutions can connect to the platform directly. They can also do so through an existing participant that offers connection services to smaller financial institutions.

The Turnbull government has welcomed the launch of NPP, which looks set to revolutionise the payments process for millions of Australian bank customers. “The launch today complements the Government's FinTech agenda, and I look forward to the development of other NPP services that will add even more convenience, functionality and efficiency to how individuals and businesses make payments,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said.

But just like other financial platforms, consumers are advised to stay vigilant about scams. Some scams ask for logins and passwords. When this happens, customers need to contact their financial institution for any suspicions about anyone asking for a payment or account information. The NPPA website provides further information about the platform.