Understanding Osko and the New Payments Platform

By Alex Gillezeau ·

Key Features

  • Osko allows 24/7 online banks transfers in under a minute
  • It offers easier account identification by phone number and email
  • It’s now available for you to use as a part of the NPP

If you’ve ever felt that transferring money to someone’s bank account was way more difficult than it should be, you’re not alone. If you felt splitting bills with your roomates was a real kerfuffle, you’re not alone. If you’ve felt frustrated waiting 2-3 business days, just to receive a simple payment, you’re not alone. Well it’s time to rejoice as a new day has dawned for Australian online banking, as Osko and the New Payments Platform (NPP) have been launched.

Osko and the New Payments Platform are designed to bring faster, easier, more convenient online bank transfers to Aussies, so that everything from paying your energy bill, to buying old IKEA desks off Gumtree is simpler. In this guide, we’ve collected the main need-to-knows about Osko, to help you get your banking up to date.

What is Osko?

Osko is the first consumer-built product being released as a part of the New Payments Platform. It focuses on the day-to-day purchases; letting you transfer money directly and instantly to someone’s account. Osko is currently partnered with over 50 financial institutes including the big four banks, so more than likely you already have access to it.

But wait, what’s the NPP again? It’s a new Australian platform created by a number of financial institutes to help make transfering money as easy and seamless as possible. It’s doing this by offering greater connectivity between the different institutes, easier ways to transfer money and 24/7 access to online banking.

How does Osko work?

The process is simple: firstly Osko works off your current online banking app, so there’s no need to download anything new. From here you have two options to identify the account you’re transferring to; you can do the classic BSB and account number combo we’ve all become used to, or you can use PayID to simply jot in someone's phone number, email or ABN. Once you’ve identified the account, put in the amount and pay away, after which the account can be saved.

To be more jargony for a second, Osko uses ISO22002, which is a standard system for many international financial institutes using electronic data exchange. This just means it has the same backdoor processes and protections that you probably already use everyday.

How is Osko different?

So you may be wondering, what exactly is different about Osko - I already have online banking? Fair point, but there are a few main differences that really put Osko ahead of the old system.

  • Faster: Because it uses the NPP, Osko works faster than a regular bank transfer that can take days and may not even be available on weekends. Osko is available 24/7 and usually transfers your money in under a minute and it’s working on bringing down those transfer times to be as instantaneous as possible.
  • Easier: If you’ve ever felt transferring from your bank account using your BSB and account number seems a little antiquated, then you’ll be glad to know with PayID you’ll be able to pop in someone’s number or email address instead. Although you can obviously still use a BSB and account number if that’s what you prefer.
  • Better Descriptions: While the 18 or so letters you get right now might be enough to convey a payment like “pizza” or “Lorde tickets”, Osko is upping the game, allowing for 280 characters in your description, including emojis, so you can properly explain what each payment is for.

When would you use Osko?

There’s many times when you can use Osko, from sending your friend money to get a festival ticket for you, paying the babysitter straight away even if you don’t have cash, splitting bills with your roomates and on and on and on. And as Osko and the NPP becomes more widely adopted, the usage possibilities will increase too.

On a personal basis

The biggest benefit of Osko is the being able to make personal payments instantly, without having to know someone’s full bank details. This lets you pay or be paid by your friends, family, colleagues, whoever right away, so the money can get there without the delay of online banking.

Ever been the one to pay for dinner and not receive payment from a member of the group? You won’t need to stress about nagging in the group chat for the next 2 months before they finally pay up, because with Osko there’s no excuse for tardy payments. All they need to do is pop your phone number or email into the app, rather than getting your BSB and account number, and you’ll receive the money before you’ve even left the restaurant.

Paying for goods or services

It’s likely you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re needing to pay someone there and then, whether it’s a tradie, buying something secondhand or paying an instructor after an impromptu, one-off class. With no ATM around, Osko can fix the situation quick-smart.

For example, say you’ve been scouring Gumtree for the last 3 weeks looking for a chest of drawers and you finally you find the one you want. You rock up to their house, put them in your car and all you need to do is put their number into your phone and you can finish the transaction right there. No need for cash or the awkward, “well that should come through in a couple days, I promise it won’t bounce…”

For a small business

You should find that the fiddly aspects of your business’ banking and bookkeeping should be taken care of much quicker and with greater accounting clarity. You’ll be able to pay your staff, suppliers or bills instantly, and it could help keep track of your invoices and accounts with more accuracy and less hassle.

As far as receiving money, when your customer makes the transaction, you get the money straight away, instead of having to wait a couple of days.

If you’re interested in getting connected to a bank that is a bit more ‘in the know’ when it comes to the latest in banking technology, check out the different accounts at Mozo’s comparison hub.