The long-awaited arrival of instant payments for Australian banking customers is edging ever closer, with the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac today announcing a collaborative instant payment app called Beem.
Beem, which will be available on Android and iOS smartphones by the end of the year, allows everyday Aussies and small businesses to make and receive transfers instantly compared to the current system which can take up to three days to transfer between different banks.
Best of all, the app will be free and won’t be limited to customers of the big three banks - instead it will be available to virtually every Australian banking customer.
Matt Comyn, Executive of Retail Banking Services with the Commonwealth Bank Group, said the app would provide a far simpler and convenient transfer method for banking customers and small businesses.
“Two thirds of small businesses say they are owed money for completed work, with around $7,300 owed to small traders,” he said.
“Beem will give small businesses a cost effective and easy way to collect payments instantly and on the go for their goods and services, without having to take the larger leap into using merchant credit facilities, or issuing invoices to be paid later.”
The three major banks stated that the Beem app is just the first offering in an ongoing collaboration of ‘new generation’ mobile payments options, with the banks also hinting at future products such as a digital wallet feature.
“Think about all the times you’ve gone out for dinner and split the bill – this app will make it easy for Australians to pay their family and friends instantly. Or, when you go to the local market and need to pay the butcher – this means instant payment through your phone,” said Antony Cahill, NAB’s Chief Operating Officer.
“This is the industry working together to deliver an innovative payments solution, no matter who you bank with.”
The announcement of the Beem app is just the latest in a succession of recent banking innovations, including Westpac’s new PayWear technology and the expected launch of the New Payments Platform early next year.
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