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June 2, 2023

On the web

First Real-World, Cross-Border Settlement Using Australian CBDC Completed Through NexPay and Monoova

The Fintech Times

"The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in collaboration with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC), held an invitation-only conference in Sydney for participants in the Australian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project. In a live demonstration, Monoova’s CTO Nicholas Tan, successfully completed the first real-world, cross-border settlement using the pilot CBDC."

May 31, 2023

On the web

May 24, 2023

On the web

Woolworths Rolls Out a Big Change to the Way People Shop

Australian Financial Review

"Woolworths will start moving payments on to Australia’s real-time payments system as a cheaper alternative to the card networks controlled by Visa and Mastercard, a move it says will reduce fraud while driving customers to its digital wallet and rewards program. The supermarket has become the first major company to offer customers an option to link their bank account directly to its app, using PayTo functionality introduced by Australia’s new payments platform."

May 22, 2023

On the web

Apple Pay on a Roll, and the Banks are Rattled to Their Cores (Australia)

Australian Financial Review

"Inside Apple, it was known as Project Muirfield. Not only would the iPhone be able to make payments, but accept them too. This week the plan came to life in Australia. The US technology giant said Westpac and Tyro would be the first banks to allow business customers to download an app to receive payments from customers with their iPhone, rather than through a payment terminal."

On the wires

May 18, 2023

On the web

Banks Unveil New Weapon to Fight Scams, but Consumer Troup Says Customers Remain Exposed (Australia)

ABC News

"Australia's under-pressure banks have unveiled a new tool to combat fraudulent transactions in a bid to stop customers losing more and more money to sophisticated scams. Bank transfers have been identified as the most common payment method for scams, but the banks say the "near real-time reporting" system will help them block the movement of money to fraudsters."

Australian ‘Big 4’ Bank Begins Trial for Cryptocurrency Payment Blocks


"Westpac, one of Australia’s ’Big Four’ banks, is launching its first trial of scam protection measures designed to combat fraudulent activities related to cryptocurrencies. The protection measures aim to mitigate losses from scams and reduce potential risks. According to the announcement, investment scams account for approximately 50% of all customer losses linked to scams, while around one-third of all scams involve direct transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges, making them extremely difficult to trace."

May 4, 2023

On the web

Monoova and Primer Jointly Bring Flexible Digital Payments to Australia

IBS Intelligence

"Australian real-time payments provider, Monoova has partnered with Primer, a no-code commerce automation platform, to facilitate easier, seamless payments. With this partnership, Primer will now offer PayTo and PayID enabled by Monoova, in addition to over 100 commerce and payment apps available on its platform. The move provides Primer’s global customers, with operations in Australia, access to New Payment Platform’s real-time payment method, spearheaded by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which is set to transform the management of direct debits in Australia."

April 3, 2023

On the web

How Low Can Tap and Pay Fees Go?

Small Caps

"Australians are great adopters of technology, with tap and pay transactions now making up much more than half of all in person transactions. So, it is a bit confronting to find out that the Reserve Bank of Australia, which regulates the payments system, is unsure of how its powers apply to some aspects of the burgeoning area...It is currently very rare for customers to be charged a premium for contact free transactions using credit or debit cards. ALDI is one of the few retailers that does this – if you insert a card and pay with eftpos there is no fee while all tap and go transactions incur a 0.5% surcharge, even for debit cards."

PayTo is Live at 50 Financial Organisations


"Over 50 organisations are now live with the digital direct debit PayTo service with banks and financial institutions either onboarded or on-track to meet an April activation deadline. Developed by NPP Australia alongside the finance industry, PayTo allows businesses to initiate payments from customers' bank accounts as part of a ‘PayTo Agreement’. PayTo began rolling out last June with customers predicted to have access to PayTo in their bank accounts by the end of April, following an extension by the Reserve Bank of Australia in 2022 ."

March 16, 2023

On the web

NAB, Westpac Sell Stakes in Open Banking Start-up Basiq

Australian Financial Review

"Cuscal, which provides payment services to mutual banks and fintechs, has acquired Basiq, a Sydney-based start-up backed by powerful investors including Westpac and National Australia Bank, in a deal that points to the looming consolidation of payments, data systems and digital identity. The deal provides an exit for Basiq’s shareholders which include US card giant Visa, Westpac’s venture capital fund Reinventure Group, NAB Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, AP Ventures (backed by Afterpay) and Plaid, a large US-based banking data company."

March 15, 2023

On the web

ANZ to Run Central Bank Digital Currency Pilot at Australian Universities


"The Australia and New Zealand Bank is to pilot the use of a prototype central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline transactions using pre-loaded contactless cards at RMIT University in the Australian city of Melbourne and Southern Cross University in New South Wales. ANZ will test the CBDC for offline payments in one of 14 pilot projects to be launched by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre as part of their ongoing research into the development and issuance of an Australian CBDC that will also cover use cases including ecommerce, asset trading, corporate bond settlement, livestock auctioning and construction payments."

On the wires

Novatti Launches Multi-Currency Platform for Australian Bill Payments

PR Newswire

"Novatti Group Limited, a leading fintech enabling businesses to pay and be paid, has launched Novatti BillPay, a platform connecting businesses offering BPAY® bills and payees. Novatti BillPay enables businesses with BPAY® bills to accept payments from people overseas who prefer to pay in their currency of choice using digital wallets. Designed for international students, new migrants and people overseas without access to an Australian bank account, users can choose to pay their Australian bills such as tuition fees, rent, utility bills and council fees using a range of Asian currencies as amended and updated from time to time."

March 14, 2023

On the wires

Wirex Partners with Novatti to Bring Next-Gen Multicurrency Card to Everyday Users in Australia

PR Newswire

Wirex, a leading crypto payments platform, has partnered with card issuer, Novatti, to directly issue cards to Australians. The announcement has the potential to allow over 20 million people to utilise their innovative multicurrency card every day. Wirex developed the world's first crypto-enabled debit card. Over 5 million customers worldwide can buy, hold, exchange and sell over 12 traditional and 130 cryptocurrencies, spendable at 80 million locations using Wirex's Visa debit card. This includes the TAUD (True AUD) stablecoin, recently listed on the Wirex app as part of Wirex's largest release of tokens in one go.

March 8, 2023

On the web

Coles Shops for QR Code Digi Wallet Solution with AP+

CRN Australia

"Retail giant Coles is taking the first leap into QR payments in partnership with the Australian Payments Plus (AP+) consortium. Under the alliance, AP+ is developing a bespoke digital wallet to leverage its Beem technology for Coles customers.  The Beem platform will allow shoppers to pay via the eftpos QR code in retail stores. AP+ managing director of digital experiences division Cowry Mark Britt said the Coles partnership was part of a commitment to working with retailers seeking to create new digital innovations in Australian payments."

March 3, 2023

On the web

Research Project Exploring Use Cases for CBDC (Australia)

Reserve Bank of Australia

"As previously announced, the Reserve Bank is collaborating with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) on a research project to explore potential use cases and economic benefits of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia. The project involves selected industry participants demonstrating potential use cases for a CBDC using a limited-scale pilot CBDC that is a real digital claim on the Reserve Bank. The project received a large number of use case submissions from a range of industry participants. A range of criteria were considered in selecting the use cases to participate in the pilot, including the potential to provide insights into the possible benefits of a CBDC."

February 2, 2023

On the web

Commonwealth Bank Adding Anti-Scam Features to its Apps

The West Australian

Commonwealth Bank is rolling out new features for its widely used banking apps aimed at combating the plague of scammers ripping off Australians. From late March, the app will indicate whether the name and account details customers have entered are correct when they make payments using a BSB and account number.

December 15, 2022

On the web

Australia’s Central Bank Highlights Payments Goals and Areas of Improvement

Insider Intelligence

“Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Gov. Philip Lowe outlined four goals and initiatives to improve Australia’s payments system in a Wednesday speech. 1. Lowering payment costs for merchants.   A big part of this initiative involves expanding least-cost routing (LCR), which lets merchants route debit payments through the most affordable network. Merchants can choose from Visa, Mastercard, or home-grown payments network eftpos. Australia’s Payments System Board wants to make LCR available for mobile wallet payments—which has strong penetration in the market. 2. Supporting the development of Australia’s faster payments system. Australia offers account-to-account push payments through its New Payments Platform (NPP), which has processed over 1 billion transactions worth more than $1 trillion in the past year. But it wants to enable the same faster payments functionality for direct debit payments. Since NPP was designed for push payments, the government created PayTo to enable faster direct debit payments. But Lowe is frustrated with Australia’s major banks, which he says have been slow to implement PayTo. The banks have agreed to make PayTo fully operational by April 2023…”

December 14, 2022

On the web

RBA Calls On Apple, Google, Samsung To Cut Retailer Fees


“Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has called on global tech giants to reduce payment costs for retailers accepting payments made through smartphones. At his keynote at today’s AusPayNet event in Sydney, Lowe said the RBA has consulted with Apple, Google, and Samsung, as well as the banks and POS providers, in order to implement “least cost routing” for merchants. LCR will route payments through the bank-owned eftpos network, rather than via Visa and Mastercard, which charge retailers more. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay “is growing very quickly, and they are often more expensive for merchants to accept,” Lowe said. “It would be both feasible and desirable for the industry to deliver LCR functionality for mobile wallet transactions by the end of 2024.”

December 9, 2022

On the web

RBA Fears an Australian CBDC Could Sideline Banks and Displace the Dollar

Kitco News

“The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) published a speech by Assistant Governor Brad Jones which outlines some of the worrisome impacts that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could have on the country’s financial system. Jones focused his remarks on the potential risks of a retail CBDC. “This recognizes that a wholesale CBDC would entail less change to the status quo, as financial institutions already hold digital claims issued by the Bank.” Jones reviewed some of the key arguments in favor of CBDC adoption, including strengthening financial inclusion where banks are few or distant, supporting universal access to public money where banknotes are hard to access or sparingly used, and safeguarding monetary sovereignty in societies with weaker rule of law and monetary systems. According to Jones, these situations do not apply to Australia…“The first of these concerns relates to the potential for a CBDC to become the preferred source of liquidity holdings for households in normal times, at the expense of commercial bank deposits,” Jones said.”

December 2, 2022

On the web

Transforming Ecommerce with PowerBoard

Commonwealth Bank

“The role of a bank in ecommerce in Australia is changing, with the launch of CBA’s new platform PowerBoard. With this solution, selected merchants will be able to “plug in” to the platform once and deploy their ecommerce offering, gaining access to a range of payment methods which can be seamlessly switched on for their customers – all through a single platform. To date, payments orchestration has generally only been accessible to larger business with in-house technology teams. PowerBoard will provide merchants of many sizes with payments acquiring, multi gateway capability, a menu of payment options, and an innovation roadmap that will future-proof their business and deliver technology efficiencies. To deliver this Australian banking first, CBA has partnered with fintech and payments orchestration platform Paydock, combining global best technology with bank-grade standards to give merchants peace of mind and meet enhanced security, fraud, data and cyber standards. The PowerBoard portal provides a simple interface to switch on features, monitor real-time transactions, and configure the experience they want to deliver to their customers; meeting the unique needs of each business…PowerBoard is set to integrate with five categories of payment methods: traditional card payments; digital wallets including Apple Pay and Google Pay; Buy Now Pay Later alternative payment methods; domestic payment methods such as eftpos and PayTo; and digital gift cards. In addition to payment methods, PowerBoard will simplify other technology integrations, such as enhanced security tools that support merchants to detect and prevent fraud. Additional connected services will be added in future releases, such as logistics and multi-currency. In some cases, an agreement will be required between the merchant and the provider of the third party connected service.”

November 1, 2022

On the web

Regulatory Changes Flagged for Afterpay and Other Buy Now, Pay Later Services


“Afterpay customers could have to undergo more detailed credit checks under new regulations being considered for the buy now, pay later (BNPL) sector. Treasury is putting the finishing touches on its review of how BNPL operators such as Afterpay, Zip, humm and Klarna can be regulated to help provide better protections for consumers. The resulting issues paper is due to be released in coming weeks. A relatively new industry, BNPL is exempt from laws designed to protect borrowers who use products such as credit cards and personal loans. The loophole exists because providers don’t charge customers interest, and therefore the product they provide is not technically considered credit. Flagging the Treasury review earlier this year, Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said he wanted BNPL services to be treated like other credit products under Australian law.”

October 31, 2022

On the web

Australia Issues White Paper for Central Bank Digital Currency

Bitcoin News

“The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has set out to explore use cases for a digital version of the Australian dollar. It’s collaborating on the project with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC), a research program funded by the government and the financial sector. This week, the two released a white paper for the central bank digital currency (CBDC). The document titled “Australian CBDC Pilot for Digital Finance Innovation” details the main objectives of the initiative and explains the design of the new currency. Members of the industry have been invited to propose use cases that have the potential to improve the functioning of Australia’s economy and financial system, the RBA announced.”

October 17, 2022

On the web

National Australia Bank Lets Merchants Accept Contactless Payments on Android NFC Smartphones

NFC World

“Merchants in Australia can now accept contactless payments directly on their Android NFC smartphone or tablet using National Australia Bank’s Easy Tap software point of sale (sPOS) solution. The Easy Tap app is “a simple low-cost solution which lets you take payments anywhere, any time, with no need for a separate terminal” and provides merchants with “transaction data in real time so you can spot sales trends and get the information you need to help you manage and grow your business”, National Australia Bank says. “This is perfect for Australians for a side hustle — think your local farmers market, coffee carts and mobile hairdressers who don’t want to lug around a payment terminal or dongle and who are looking for instant insight into how their business is performing,” NAB’s Andrew Irvine says. Westpac bank began piloting its Tap on Phone sPOS solution with merchants in Australia in June.”

October 14, 2022

On the web

Gallagher ‘Confident’ Government Payments Stable after NPP and RBA Outage

The Mandarin

“A major outage at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the New Payment Platform that narrowly missed Thursday’s welfare and pension payroll run has prompted reassurances from the government that the recently built system is stable, as it seeks urgent answers about what went wrong. As consumers and bank customers woke on Thursday to wonder what happened to their Osko payments apparently lost in transit, public service and finance minister Katy Gallagher batted away the national incident.”

October 3, 2022

On the web

PayTo: Blockchain Changing The World Of Finance (Australia)


“As part of a new system that is expected to “revolutionise” payments, consumers will be able to authorise direct debit payments, such as those for gym memberships, directly from their banking app, rather than having to fill out paper or online forms. Last month, the Commonwealth Bank activated PayTo, a new technological tool that promises to give consumers greater control over their direct debit payments than they have had in the past. In this article, we will look at how PayTo, a new option for direct debit payments, is helping consumers view their direct debits, cancel recurring payments through their banking app, and lower overall payment costs for businesses. What is blockchain…?”

September 30, 2022

On the web

Australia to Explore Potential for Retail and Wholesale CBDCs

Fintech Singapore

“The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is collaborating with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) to explore use cases for a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The (DFCRC) is a 10-year, A$180 million research programme funded by industry partners, universities and the Australian government, through the Cooperative Research Centres Programme. The project intends to test a general-purpose pilot CBDC issued as a liability of the RBA for use in real world, pilot implementations of services offered by Australian industry participants. The central bank will be exploring any compelling use case for both wholesale and retail CBDCs through this project.”

September 26, 2022

On the web

The Cost of Card Payments for Merchants (Australia)

Reserve Bank of Australia

“The average cost for a merchant to accept a card payment has declined over recent years. However, consumers are making more payments with cards than ever before, which is raising total payment costs for merchants. Smaller merchants also face notably higher card payment costs per transaction than larger merchants. To strengthen competition and help reduce the cost of accepting card payments, the Reserve Bank wants all merchants to be able to choose which card network is used to process debit transactions – a functionality known as least-cost routing (LCR). While considerable progress has been made, the payments industry has more work to do to provide and promote LCR. The Bank is taking further action to ensure that LCR will be available for all merchants.”

September 14, 2022

On the web

What CBA’s PayTo Tool Means for You (Australia)

Australian Financial Review

“Commonwealth Bank customers will get the power to control scheduled debit payments from inside the bank’s app after it enabled a new system known as PayTo last weekend. The move will start a shift to processing more payments through real-time national infrastructure known as the NPP rather than debit payment rails owned by global card schemes Visa and Mastercard, reducing the overall costs of payments for big billers. Great Southern Bank has also switched on PayTo, as other big banks work towards a deadline of April next year after failing to hit the original timetable.”

September 13, 2022

On the web

CommBank Rolls Out PayTo Bill Payments for Customers


“The feature is the latest initiative by New Payments Platform Australia (NPPA), creating a new way for customers to authorise payments from their CBA bank account in near real-time. The PayTo functionality will allow eligible customers to manage one-off or recurring new PayTo payment agreements within the security of the CommBank App and NetBank, enabling the ability to view, authorise, pause or cancel payment agreements. To be eligible for the feature, CBA retail and business customers must be able to access NetBank and/or the CommBank App and have a CBA account that is eligible. PayTo payer capabilities provides more control over payments that come directly from CBA customers’ bank accounts, including for regular bills, subscriptions and one-off payments.”

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