I’ve always found it fascinating that transferring money from one bank to another takes days. It is actually faster to go to the ATM, pull out the cash, walk it to the other bank and fill out a deposit slip and hand it to a teller. Computers take longer. There’s something wrong with that picture.
And I’ve often wondered what my money does in those days in between leaving one account and landing in the other one. Does it go for a quick break up the coast? Does it stay up all night and sleep right through the weekend? Does it descend into unconstructed dreamspace and live out a whole lifetime, before returning to the real world? It certainly doesn’t go shopping.
So it is wonderful news that the RBA is pushing the banks to develop a real-time payments system. No more sending our money off and waiting until the next business day, or worse, for it to land on the other side. It will take until about 2016 though, and I wonder what the payments landscape will look like by then.
At the moment, we are on the cusp of great change but hampered by the legacy of the past. I was discussing payments developments with someone yesterday, and as an example I pulled out the Commbank Kaching iPhone app and sent them a dollar from my bank account to their mobile number. (So generous, a whole dollar!) But as sexy and 21st century as that capability is, when the other person collects that dollar from the Commbank site they will see this message:
“All done. It might take a few days for your money to appear in your account depending on who you bank with.”
And we come crashing back to the 20th century again…
Andrew Duncanson is the Research & Insights Director at Mozo