Five ways to access
There are five pathways to accessing the NPP designed to enable as many organisations as possible to reap the benefits of the NPP.
Become an ‘end user’
Businesses and corporates can use the NPP to make and receive payments, the same way a consumer does, by simply having an account at one of the many participating organisations that offer NPP services to their business and corporate clients. They can also receive payments via the NPP by creating a PayID with their participating financial institutions and providing it to their customers.
Become an NPP Participant
Organisations that clear and settle payments on behalf of their customers can connect directly to the Platform if they are an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) or a Restricted ADI (RADI), whether they are fully or conditionally licensed. Because the Platform enables funds to move between institutions and accounts in near real-time, prudential safeguards are required to meet international standards for real-time payments systems (as set out by the Bank for International Settlements). A directly connected Participant also needs to meet the technical requirements of standing up and maintaining an NPP Payment Access Gateway (PAG) in a real-time environment. A PAG is a piece of the NPP infrastructure that enables the transmission and exchange of messages between other PAG holders.
Become an ‘Identified Institution’
An Identified Institution can offer customers NPP enabled payments via an arrangement with a directly connected NPP Participant who can clear and settle payments on their behalf. An Identified Institution does not need to be either an ADI or a RADI, nor does it need to install and support an NPP Payment Access Gateway. This is the most popular way to access the Platform with the majority of participating organisations currently using the NPP this way. Today there are a number of directly connected Participants that offer this type of connectivity arrangement, including non-bank organisations whose business model is focused on providing wholesale access to payment streams.
Become a ‘Connected Institution’
A ‘Connected Institution’ is an organisation that connects directly to the NPP so they can initiate payments with participating financial institutions. This could include organisations like payroll providers or share registries. Because these organisations are not directly processing or clearing payments they are not required to be an ADI or RADI. However, they are required to be able to meet the technical requirements to stand up and maintain their own NPP PAG in a real-time environment and meet all security requirements.
Overlay Service Provider
An Overlay Service is a product or service that uses the NPP’s capabilities in a way that defines a unique payment experience or process. This is done by defining the ‘messages’ or ‘rules’ that decide how a payment will travel along the NPP in regards to speed, the type of information that goes with the payment and what the end customer experience is. Organisations wanting to customise NPP messages or capabilities can become an Overlay Service Provider if they are incorporated in Australia and can show a sound business plan backed by the required expertise. Overlay Service Providers offer their product or service to NPP Participants and other organisational subscribers, who then distribute it to their customers. It’s important to remember that not all Overlay Services need to be customer facing – they could also be business improvement processes, compliance or ‘Regtech’ solutions. It’s also important to remember that many payments innovation or processes do not require an Overlay Service to be built.