What’s next for Australia’s New Payments Platform?
In several recent articles here on the Beyond Bank blog, we’ve taken a close look at Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) and what it means for banking customers across the country. In a nutshell, the NPP delivers convenience, speed and security, making all sorts of different banking processes – from paying bills to reimbursing friends – easier than ever before.
When the NPP launched last month, the first service available on it was Osko, which allows for much faster payments from account to account. This alone is a huge step forward for Australian consumers, but Osko is only the start of a series of ‘Overlay Services’ that will utilise the platform in order to provide cutting edge services.
What is an Overlay Service?
One common misconception about the New Payments Platform is that it’s a service. While it’s certainly true that elements of the NPP such as PayID (being able to address payment to a mobile number or email address) are critical to products such as Osko, it’s more accurate to look at the NPP as infrastructure, providing a framework for all sorts of different services to operate. Apart from PayID, the most important elements of this infrastructure are the ability to send and receive money 24/7 and without any delay. In addition, the NPP is ‘data enriched’, which means payments can be sent with much more information than is currently possible. The ability to include emojis in Osko payments is just one example of this.
Products such as Osko, which utilise the infrastructure of the NPP to provide more convenience to consumers and businesses, are known as Overlay Services. These are programs that use the platform’s features to provide new, better payment experiences.
Over time, we’ll see new Overlay Services emerge as the NPP becomes more and more popular. These will be offered not just by the NPP’s participants (banks from across the country), but by third parties such as BPAY (which developed Osko), meaning the possibilities for the platform truly are endless.
What will future Overlay Services look like?
With many Overlay Services still in the early stages of development, it’s difficult to know exactly how these products will turn out. Even so, a recent Price Waterhouse Coopers report on The Future of Payments in Australia makes some predictions for how banking might look as soon as 2020 under the New Payments Platform.
The first of these predictions is that services will continue to become more and more customer-centric. This shift will be driven by businesses at all stages of the payments cycle, from banks and credit companies to accountants and businesses. An enormous part of this changing focus – away from the services businesses provide and towards the services customers want – will be better use of data, which is much easier to work with when using the NPP.
One example is the possibility for financial management applications to utilise information from the ways customers make payments and apply that to the advice they provide. Another is the ability to make large payments instantly, such as when buying a car and wanting to drive it away the same day.
In addition to better customer experiences, the NPP and new Overlay Services will also make it possible for businesses to enjoy a few benefits themselves. For example, after completing a job, a plumber will be able to request payment from their client using Osko. Or a business will be able to attach an invoice when paying a bill for easy reconciliation.
These benefits will include:
- Invoicing that sends more information to consumers.
- The ability to attach documents to payments.
- The ability to request payments.
- Better use of loyalty programs, where points can be directly converted to cash at the point of sale.
These sorts of benefits may still be a few years away, but the potential of the New Payments Platform to provide them means that the future of banking in Australia is brighter than ever. To find out more about the NPP and how Beyond Bank customers can use it, contact us today.