RBA Governor Philip Lowe has called out the major banks for their slow rollout of the New Payments Platform (NPP), saying the implementation has been “disappointing”.
Monthly NPP transaction values and volumes have tripled over the past year, but Governor Lowe believes the platform is being held back by the major banks – particularly CBA.
“I expect that we will see a further pickup in usage once the CBA has delivered on core NPP functionality for all its customers,” Governor Lowe said in a speech at the Australian Payments Network Summit.
“The slow implementation has been disappointing and we expect the required functionality to be available soon.”
In November, the platform processed about $1.1 billion worth of transactions. According to Governor Lowe, the rate of adoption of fast retail payments in Australia has been quicker than that of other countries that have introduced similar systems.
But the “slower-than-promised rollout” by some of the major banks means there has been less innovation within the system than expected.
“Payment systems are networks, and participants need to know that others will be ready to receive payments and use the network,” Governor Lowe said.
“Some banks have been reluctant to commit time and funding to support the development of new functionality given that others have been slow to roll out their ‘day 1’ functionality. The slow rollout has also reduced the incentive for fintechs and others to develop new ideas.
“So we have not yet benefited from the full network effects.”
Governor Lowe welcomed a roadmap from NPPA – the industry-owned company formed to establish and operate the NPP – that provides a timeline for the development of additional functionality.
The roadmap also introduced a “mandatory compliance framework” that can be used to designate capabilities NPP participants must support, with penalties for non-compliance.
“The world of payments is moving quickly, with new technologies and new players offering solutions to longstanding problems,” Governor Lowe said.
“At the same time, expectations regarding security, resilience, functionality and privacy are continually rising. Meeting these expectations can be challenging, but doing so is critical to building and maintaining the trust that lies at the heart of effective payment systems.”
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