Ross Greenwood speaks with NPP CEO Adrian Lovney about instant payments and bank transfers launched today by the New Payments Platform (NNP).
Introduction: Faster transactions, but is it safe?
Ross Greenwood: Let’s get to another thing that’s started from today, and that is the age-old complaint that banks take three days to actually move money from one account to another seems to be at an end. There’s going to be instantaneous payments as a result of these real-time payments, which will come any hour of any day of the week. The question is whether the security is as strong for you when you make those payments.
Let’s try and find out because real-time payments have been rolled out. The New Payments Platform is what it’s called. The Chief Executive of the New Payments Platform is Adrian Lovney. He is on the line right now. Many thanks for your time, Adrian.
Interview with: Adrian Lovney, CEO, New Payments Platform
Adrian Lovney: Hello.
Ross Greenwood: In regards to starting this whole program off, just explain, was there a switch flick today? What happened precisely to make this happen?
Adrian Lovney: We’ve been working on this program for about four years, and we’ve come to the end of about a year of testing. Before Christmas, banks started using it to pin money between their staff, I guess, over the Christmas period. From today, we’ve started to make it available to the public. We don’t tend to roll these kinds of big systems out in one day. That’s a bit of a recipe for things to go wrong, so the platform will roll out over the next four weeks or so. Within four weeks, about 90% of Australians will have access to this system.
Ross Greenwood: There was a one nice moment for you today because you actually made the first transaction at 12:01 AM. Explain that.
Adrian Lovney: We had a bunch of people sitting in a room, and I had the opportunity to make the first payment, which was to a fantastic charity: the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, which supports women and children escaping violence. I was really pleased to be able to do that.
Ross Greenwood: Which is a deserving thing and appropriate to be done as well. All right, let’s get to the next part about this because I want to know about what happens when I make one of these payments. One of the arguments for maintaining either a two or three-day gap is if I were to change my mind on a transaction that I wasn’t happy about. Is there the sort of security for people or do they need to understand now, as soon as you make a transaction, bingo, that’s it; it’s done?
Adrian Lovney: I don’t think that providing people with the opportunity to change their mind was sufficiently good an excuse for us to continue to disappoint customers. We know that one of the principal frustrations that they have is the delay in receiving payments. You talked about the two to three-day delay. It’s really out of kilter with what people expect from the kind of economy that we are living in today. The technology has improved to the point where we can move money in real-time.
The fraud-detection technology has also improved over the last 20 years to the point where we can do that stuff safely, but you are right. These are fundamentally irrevocable payments, and people need to take care. There are provisions. If you make a mistake in payment and the money is available in the recipient’s account, then, we will get that back for you. We’ll try and get that back for you, but people should consider this to be irrevocably payments.
Particularly, people should be careful of scams. We’re seeing lots of scams and lots of tricks: people pretending to be from the tax office, romance scams, people pretending to be from your bank. People should take care and never give away their passwords.
Ross Greenwood: Another thing I understand is the next phase of this so that you can pay me on the spot; I can pay you on the spot, whether people are using their mobile phone number or maybe using an e-mail address or something like that, is that the next step of what’s coming?
Adrian Lovney: Actually, that launched in parallel. One of the things that people might see is some advertising with a funny guy with a fish head reminding us about that goldfish moment. Two out of three Australians can’t remember their BSB and account number. PayID is a feature of the New Payments Platform. It’s optional. You don’t have to use it, but if you use it, you don’t need to share your BSB and account number; you can just give somebody your mobile phone number.
The benefits that you get with PayID that you don’t get with the current system is that if I put in your mobile phone number, it will say, “Do you want to pay Ross Greenwood?” I can go, “Yes, that’s the person I want to pay,” so we remove those errors, but it’s not mandatory. You don’t have to use it. You can still use a BSB and account number, and the payments will still move quickly as well.
Ross Greenwood: Adrian Lovney, the Chief Executive of the New Payments Platform. When is it coming in? As Adrian says, it will roll out over the next four weeks. We want to get your views about it as well. Give us a call if you’re using it, you’re seeing it already. 131 873 is my number. Adrian, we appreciate your time in the program this evening.
Adrian Lovney: Thanks.
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