Forget your BSB, banking by phone number will be the new norm

By Ben Tosi ·

The nervous wait between transferring your money to a mate and them actually getting it will soon be a thing of the past for Aussie banking consumers thanks to the imminent arrival of instant funds transfers early next year.

On Tuesday, ABC reported that real-time transfers between bank accounts could be up and running in Australia as soon as January 2018 and will be immediately available for 4 out of 5 Aussies, thanks to a billion-dollar infrastructure upgrade.

Speaking to the national broadcaster, Chief Executive of the New Payments Platform Adrian Lovney said that Aussies expect personal banking to happen instantly.

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“They expect things to happen instantly, with a mobile phone, in a 24/7 digital economy — they expect if I'm going to send you money that you'll receive it today and not next week," he said.

And that is exactly what the New Payments Platform will deliver with its instant funds transfers initiative.

“Through the weekend, public holidays, at 3 o'clock in the morning — funds will arrive in the recipient's bank account in about 30 to 45 seconds," said Lovney.

Aussie banking consumers will also be able to do away with the arduous task of checking, double and triple checking BSB and account details and instead will be able to use more memorable and unique identifiers such as their phone number, ABN or email address to transfer, even between different banks.

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Being an Aussie banking consumer hasn’t always been easy. However, this initiative is just the latest in a trend of consumer-facing, digital solutions to make personal banking more accessible for the everyday Aussie.

Earlier this week, NAB launched its voice-activated Google-powered ‘Talk to NAB’ app and in September the big four bank became the first Aussie provider to launch virtual chatbot bankers for its small business customers.

Aussies also welcomed the news of the big four scrapping of ATM fees last week which begs the question - are we on the brink of a new age of digital banking convenience?

The need-to-knows about instant funds transfers

  • Who - Customers of the big four and over 50 smaller banking institutions which should be about 80% of Aussies
  • What - Real-time funds transfers across Aussie bank accounts
  • When - In late January, 2018
  • Where - Across all Aussie states and territories
  • How - Using the account holder’s chosen identifier which could now be a phone number, ABN or email address.

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