Real-time banking rolls out in the Hunter

Innovation: Scott Morgan, chief executive of the Greater Bank, which is among those financial institutions embracing the New Payments Platform.
Innovation: Scott Morgan, chief executive of the Greater Bank, which is among those financial institutions embracing the New Payments Platform.

HUNTER financial institutions have matched the Big Four in rolling out a new system that will allow customers to make real-time payments and deposit funds into an account with as little detail as a mobile phone number.

 Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanent and Beyond Bank have kept apace with Westpac, National Australia Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in introducing the New Payments Platform (NPP), with ANZ set to adopt it shortly.

The industry-wide NPP, a $1 billion initiative by the nation’s biggest financial institutions alongside the Reserve Bank, has been billed as one of the sector’s biggest developments in the financial services industry for the past two decades.

Using a service branded Osko by BPAY, the NPP allows bank customers to make daily payments in real-time, with close to immediate funds availability, across accounts with different financial institutions.

The NPP will also allow customers to transfer funds to a person or business without having to supply the recipient’s BSB or account details.  The transaction hinges on customers registering a PayID, a new addressing service which allows them to link their bank account to an email address, phone number, Australian Business Number or Australian Company Number. 

Greater Bank chief executive officer Scott Morgan said the NPP had been a major project for the Hunter institution and resulted from a collaborative effort from many people in the business.

“We are committed to innovation and ensuring our customers have access to the latest banking technology,” he said.

Newcastle Permanent chief executive Terry Millet said current payments could take up to three business days to clear between financial institutions, while the NPP would allow real-time payments even outside business hours.

“This means that when you’re at a restaurant that doesn’t split bills and your friend paid for your meal, you can pay them back [immediately],” he said. “Or think about those times when you’ve forgotten you needed cash to pay the babysitter, it’s not a problem anymore.”