Building the New Payments Platform for Australia

An update on the NPP Program: Phase 4 Build and Internal Test

Indue is collaborating with KPMG and a number of other financial institutions on developing the New Payments Platform (NPP) for Australia. Joined by senior representatives from the Australian banking and mutual sector and Australian Payments Clearing Association, Indue is also on the Program Delivery Authority (PDA) that oversees the NPP Program.

With the program about to move into the build phase, the project is well underway and a step closer to delivering real-time payments for Australia. Since the idea for the NPP Program was developed in 2013, a number of important milestones have been achieved, including defining the requirements of the NPP. The New Payments Platform has been designed as a multi-layered system, combining payments infrastructure that will allow for data-rich real-time payments with competing commercial overlays.

Throughout 2014, the NPP also secured commitment from 12 leading financial institutions, with Westpac the last of the big banks to sign up. The planning and requirements phase for the NPP are planned for sign-off in the next two months.

In 2014, the steering committee (now the New Payments Platform Australia Board) completed a highly competitive global tender process for the provision of the basic infrastructure. International bank messaging network, SWIFT was awarded a 12-year contract to build and operate the Basic Infrastructure. SWIFT has subcontracted US-based payment technology company Fiserv to help operate the ‘addressing service’ which will allow consumers and businesses to make payments using phone numbers, email addresses and ABNs. This Initial Convenience Service is planned to deliver payment requests, credit payments, and payments with PDF attachments.

The focus is now on building the infrastructure as phase 4 of the project marks an important milestone. The build will involve the configuration and construction of the core elements specified in the design phase.

Attention also now shifts to participant and vendor testing, prior to any industry testing. This will happen on a component by component basis, using simulators. This internal testing effort will pave the way for a more efficient industry test phase.

The overall industry plan to 2017 and detailed tactical plan for phase four have now had the go ahead, along with the outline of the NPP procedures and high level onboarding policies and procedures. The back office design sub-groups have mobilised quickly and significant work continues on the program.

What does this mean for business?

A fast, versatile, data-rich payments system, the NPP will unveil opportunities for the Australian banking and finance industry, business and consumers. When operational, NPP will allow anyone with an Australian bank account to make secure, contactless payments with any device with Internet access.

NPP will promote competition and drive innovation in the Australian payments industry. The new network will replace the obsolete batch processing system for retail payments. The NPP will also carry significantly more data than the current 40-year old retail system. The NPP will mean banks will operate within a centralised network which is much easier to maintain and upgrade.

The development of the NPP’s overlay services will unlock and reveal opportunities for the Australian payment industry to innovate.

Indue is enabling the NPP’s unique technology, providing the gateway for real-time payments for our clients. With mobile payments continuously evolving, the Australian finance and banking industry must think creatively to keep pace.

To find out more about the NPP Program and other leading-edge technologies, click here to contact a member of our expert team.

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