What is Osko? And what makes it a better way to pay?

Banking in Australia is set for some significant changes in 2018, and the New Payments Platform (NPP) is leading the charge. The NPP is a new initiative developed by NPP Australia Ltd and several other financial institutions, with the goal of creating an entirely new infrastructure that better meets the needs of consumers. It’s a fresh approach, and one that has been designed from the ground up. As Bob Masina, the New Payments Platform General Manager of Technology and Operations explains, “This is a new platform, not a renovation.”

The first service to leverage the power of the NPP is Osko by BPAY. This will transform the way that Australians transfer money to one another, and it went live in February 2018.

Osko: The benefits

The benefits of Osko include:

  • Faster Payments: Giving customers and businesses the ability to transfer money to other financial institutions who have Osko in minutes.
  • Simpler Payments: Forget your BSB and account number, just provide your mobile number or email address to get paid to.
  • Smarter Payments: Personalise payment messages with up to 280 characters, including emojis.
  • Safe and secure Payments: It’s backed by BPAY and you will receive confirmation your payment is going to the right person.

These services cover the many different ways that Australians send and receive money, but Osko does far more than simply provide an alternative to current transfer options. Instead, it has rewritten the rules, and introduced innovative features that make paying easier, faster and better.

What makes Osko better?

The first, and perhaps most important, feature of Osko that makes it a better option for transferring money is speed. Current payment platforms can take 24 hours or longer for money to leave one account and arrive in another, but with Osko, that time is reduced to mere minutes. This eliminates the hassle of having to wait for money to come through, which can be a particular pain if you are not sure whether or not you have even been paid. With Osko, the transfer is almost instant – all day, every day, even on the weekends and public holidays.

It’s also convenient, and easy to use. There are more than 70 different financial institutions, including Beyond Bank, that offer the platform and are building it into their existing payment applications. For consumers, the change will be minimal. Simply log in to your internet banking or banking app, and the new service will be available. Of course, safety is always important when dealing with payments, which is why Osko is fully backed by the banks that use it, as well as BPAY.

Moving on from the standard features that you’d expect from modern payments, the New Payments Platform also offers consumers a few brand new innovations that make payments easier and more fun, which Osko will be utilising. The first of these involves PayID. With PayID, there’s no longer any need to remember long bank account numbers. Instead, payments can be made to something as simple and secure as a mobile number or email address.

Finally, there are the little features – the ones that may not be central to making and receiving payments, but that make the whole process a little better. For example, being able to include much longer descriptions (up to 280 characters) will eliminate the need to spend time wondering how to convey all the information regarding a payment. Meanwhile, the ability to include emojis allows for increased personalisation of transfers to friends and family.

To create your PayID, simply log in to internet banking or the app – watch this short video on Creating your PayID for instructions on how to set it up.