New Payments Platform (NPP) launch heralds age of real-time bank transfers in Australia

By Tom Watson ·

After months of speculation and in-house testing the New Payments Platform (NPP) has officially launched today, bringing with it a host of new capabilities which could transform the way Australians do their banking.

The NPP, described as the most modern payment platform in the world, will offer Australian consumers and businesses a range of new benefits, including near instant bank transfers, which will not only make banking faster - but more convenient.     

According to NPP Australia, around 60 banks, credit unions and building societies across the country will now begin rolling out services to their customers which will make use of the platform’s capabilities.

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“We know that Australians are frustrated about the amount of time it takes to move money between accounts at different banks, which can sometimes be as long as two to three days,” said CEO of NPP Australia, Adrian Lovney.

“We expect that over the next month or so, Australians will be able to transfer money instantly to each other through products like Osko by BPAYTM. And they will be able to make those transfers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, including public holidays.”

Real-time payments at last

Originally announced in 2013, the launch of the NPP has been a long time coming, with release dates shifting from some point in 2017, to Australia Day 2018. According to NPP Australia, the platform itself has been live since November in order for employees at a number of different institutions to test its functionality.

And while the launch may be a boon for consumers and businesses alike, Australia has been slow to adopt the technology, with a number of countries around the world including Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada already offering faster transfers at a national level.      

What are the benefits of the NPP?

The most alluring benefit of the NPP for most consumers will be the possibility of near instant transfers between different institutions - doing away with the typical day-long waits many Australians are currently forced to endure.

Consumers will now also be able to make transfers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without the longer transfer times which typically occur on weekends and public holidays.

BSB numbers may also soon become a thing of the past, with the introduction of the NPP allowing customers to sign up for a ‘PayID’ which uses an individuals phone number, email address or even ABN as a new form of banking ID.  

“PayID will make payments simpler because it means you don’t have to remember, or share, your BSB and account details with others. Being able to see the name of the person you are paying before you confirm the payment provides more reassurance,” said Lovney.

Say hello to ‘Osko’ 

Built on top of the New Payments Platform, Osko is set be the first widely distributed service to make use of the capabilities of the NPP, including near real-time transfers and PayID, and will be rolled out in the coming months by over 50 financial institutions including the four major banks.

Developed by the BPAY Group, Osko will work within an online or mobile banking platform in the same way BPAY does, but instead of paying your bills you’ll be able to pay another person.

“Osko by BPAY is a big step forward for Australian payments. It will make payments faster, easier, and more convenient than ever before,” said CEO of BPAY Group, John Banfield. 

“With Osko, you’ll no longer have to dash to the ATM late at night to get money for the babysitter. You’ll be able to pay them on the spot in under a minute, in your secure banking environment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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With the New Payments Platform officially up and running, many Australians may find it easier to make the switch to a more competitive bank or savings account now that they’re no longer restricted by transfer times between different banks.

So if you’re ready to celebrate the arrival of the NPP by grabbing a better deal for yourself, start your search by comparing offers on the Mozo bank account comparison tables today.

Tom Watson
Finance journalist

Tom Watson is a financial journalist at Mozo, specialising in fintech, property and business banking. Whether it’s reporting on banking trends or uncovering the latest product innovations, Tom’s mission is to keep our readers up to date with breaking Australian financial news. His work is often sourced in the media and across social media channels. Tom has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.