Australia's real-time payments platform goes live today, with customers of three of the country's big four banks able to transfer funds in seconds.
The New Payments Platform (NPP) will enable customers of Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac to send money via a service called PayID, which requires users to enter only the recipients' mobile phone number or email address. Other financial institutions, including ANZ, will follow.
The billion dollar project is being run by NPP Australia, which was set up by the industry in late 2014 in response to cajoling from the country's central bank, eager to catch up with the likes of the UK in the faster payments arena.
Swift was brought in in 2015 on a 12-year contract to design, build and operate the platform's basic infrastructure.
In addition to speeding up payments, the NPP allows for up to 280 characters of information to be attached to payments, which the RBA says will provide richer data, facilitating e-invoicing and straight-through processing.