Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the New Payments Platform?

The New Payments Platform (NPP) is a major industry initiative to develop new infrastructure for Australian payments. It will provide Australian governments, businesses and consumers with a fast, versatile, data-rich payments system for making their everyday payments.

Q. What can the New Payments Platform do?

There are three key benefits to the New Payments Platform.

1. Speed: the ability to make payments in real time, with close to immediate funds availability to the recipient.
24/7 availability: the ability to make and receive low-value payments 24/7 outside normal banking hours.
2. Data enriched: the ability to send more complete remittance information with payments.
3. Simple Addressing: A system to more easily address retail payments to any recipient using their phone number, email address, ABN or organisational identifier.

Additional features will become available overtime with the development of new overlay services.

Q. What financial institutions are involved in New Payments Platform?

The current thirteen Participants in the NPP are ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac, Cuscal, ING Direct, HSBC, Macquarie, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citigroup, Indue, Australian Settlements Limited and the Reserve Bank of Australia. A large number of additional financial institutions will also connect to the NPP infrastructure as an Identified Institution, through one of the 13 Participants.

Q. Who is building the New Payments Platform?

NPP Australia Limited (NPPA) was formed in December 2014 to oversee the build and operation of the NPP. The company is owned by the 13 financial institutions participating in the NPP. The Board comprises representatives from the participating institutions and APCA, with an independent chair Paul Lahiff. Adrian Lovney is the inaugural CEO of NPP Australia.

In December 2014, NPPA signed a 12-year contract with SWIFT to design, build and operate the basic infrastructure. SWIFT was appointed the successful vendor by the NPP Program following a highly competitive global tender process.

The RBA’s Fast Settlement Service (FSS) will be a new service of the Reserve Bank Information and Transfer System (RITS) (governed by the RITS Regulations and Conditions of Operation) supporting settlement of payments from the NPP. The FSS will provide line by line settlement of individual Settlement Requests received via the BI and provide very fast settlement processing on a 24/7 basis.

In October 2015, NPPA reached agreement with Australia’s premier bill payment system provider – BPAY – to deliver the first overlay service to use the NPP. Known as the Initial Convenience Service, it will represent an innovative, compelling proposition for customers to participate in the NPP once it is launched.

The NPP Steering Committee appointed KPMG to act as the Program Management Service Organisation (PMSO) in 2013 to ensure a well-resourced, efficiently planned, highly collaborative industry Program.

Q. What will customers be able to do?

The first product that will use the NPP infrastructure will be delivered by BPAY. It will be a convenient and accessible service for consumers to send payments from an account at their financial institution, 24/7/365, to payees using easy-to-remember addresses such as a mobile phone number or email address, with fast availability of cleared funds, rich data and confidence in delivery.

The customer experiences the NPP can bring to life will only expand and improve over time.

Q. Will the New Payments Platform enable customers to switch bank accounts?

Users of the NPP’s Addressing Service (the part of the NPP that allows customers to send payments to a nominated account via a unique identifier, such as a mobile phone) will be able to switch payments between accounts more easily. So, while the NPP has not been designed to support account switching, it does empower consumers to redirect payments to other accounts through a simple and safe process.

Q. What is an Overlay Service?

New payment services – “Overlay Services” – will be developed over time by Participants and/or third parties, leveraging the Basic Infrastructure to provide tailored services incorporating payments between the customers of Participants.

Q. What is the Initial Convenience Service?

The ICS will be the first Overlay Service and will be available when the NPP goes live in the second half of 2017. The ICS will provide businesses and consumers with a compelling proposition for use of the BI, to create momentum and drive early transaction volumes, as soon as possible after the NPP is launched. The first service will enable customers to send payments from an account at their financial institution to another person or business using simpler payment addresses such as a phone numbers or email addresses.

Q. What kind of products and services could be offered as an ‘overlay service’?

The possibilities are endless really. Speed will be a key differentiator, as will the convenience offered by the addressing service and the data that can be transmitted along with payment. It’s likely that the transmission of data along with payments will mean that a key focus will be on business applications, as well as the opportunities in industry verticals, such as funds management, in and around the stock exchange, or in the insurance and superannuation industry. The NPP presents an opportunity to help solve some of common pain points such as efficiency, improved customer service and reducing costs.

Q. How much will the New Payments Platform cost consumers?

Pricing for the New Payments Platform will be at the discretion of the Participants. Consumers should contact their financial institution for more information on costs once the services are launched.

Q. How much will the New Payments Platform cost Participants?

NPP Australia fee charges and componentry costs are available to prospective Participants and Overlay Service Providers on request (under NDA), but as a guiding principle NPP Australia expects the NPP infrastructure to be economically self-sustaining (not profit-maximising).