Payments infrastructure needs work, says Australian central bank chief

Australia’s central bank chief urged the industry to continue building an efficient and competitive payments infrastructure to support future innovation.

In a speech titled “Issues in payments systems”, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens likened the project to “building a piece of national infrastructure” and said every opportunity should be taken to increase its potential value to the nation, Reuters reported.

While there has been progress in an industry-driven effort to build a new payments infrastructure called the New Payments Platform (NPP), Stevens noted, recent major developments in the area of real-time payments in Sweden and Singapore caused the bank chief to question if there was a plausible reason to accept that Australia was falling behind.

“Delivering the NPP is also, in my opinion, in the interests of the Australian financial institutions, which are at the heart of payments today. It can be expected to lead to further growth in electronic payments and a reduction in costs,” he told the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

“It will maintain the ongoing relevance of the current players. If those players do not provide Australian end-users with the services they want, surely others will seek to do so. Alternatively, the Reserve Bank would be duty bound to consider a regulatory approach.”

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