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RBA sets up real-time payments team

28 September 2012  |  5322 views  |  2 Sydney Opera House

The Reserve Bank of Australia has set up a project team to explore the creation of a central payments hub for real-time bank account transfers.

The five-person unit was established in August, two months after the publication of a strategic review of innovation in the nation's payments system. The review laid down an objective of enabling real-time retail payments by 2016, adding that this "would best be delivered by the establishment of a real-time payments hub, rather than a web of bilateral links".

Speaking at a conference in Sydney on Wednesday, RBA head of payments and policy Tony Knott, said that the Sprint (send, pay and receive in no time) team had been established to pore over the available option so as "to make sure that we've got a clear path forward by the end of the year". This would include "thinking about how one would go about deciding if an industry solution was appropriate and met the Payments Systems Board's objective".

Speaking on the same panel, Brad Pragnell, head of industry policy at the Australian Payments Clearing Association, referred to the recent agreement between VocaLink, First data and Accenture to build a system similar to the UK's Faster Payments service in Australia.

"I'm in no way endorsing...that proposal but that is out in the public domain," he said, adding that he expected other potential providers to come forward in the coming months.

"The next three to four months is going to be very critical from an industry perspective," Pragnell told the conference.

Comments: (2)

John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 01 October, 2012, 07:25

What the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) wants to provide for all Australians is noncash banking that is not only in real-time, but open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The RBA is to be commended for examining how all cashless digital payments should be made in real-time or instantaneously.  Having read the business press recently in Australia, the RBA is asking all banks, credit unions, and similar financial institutions to upgrade their technical systems in order to provide the public with instantaneous real-time transactions, on a 24 hour basis, seven days a week. 

John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 10 October, 2012, 04:45

I forgot to mention that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
has asked all banks, credit unions, and building societies to update their
computer hardware to accommodate instantaneous or real-time transactions, by 2016.

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