The Reserve Bank of Australia provides specialised banking services to the Australian Government and its agencies, other government instrumentalities, other central banks, and overseas official institutions.
The Reserve Bank provides a facility to the Australian Government that is used to manage a group of bank accounts, known as the Official Public Account (OPA) Group, the aggregate balance of which represents the Government's daily cash position. These banking arrangements include the provision of a term-deposit facility for the investment of surplus funds, the sweeping of balances to and from agencies' accounts held with transactional bankers, and access to a strictly limited overdraft facility. To assist in monetary policy and liquidity management, this service also includes the electronic collection of forecasting data and reporting on high-value transactions from agencies and transactional bankers. The Department of Finance and Deregulation manages this facility on behalf of the Australian Government.
The Reserve Bank also provides transactional banking facilities to various Australian Government agencies. The main transactional banking services offered by the Bank include:
- bank account facilities;
- online payment services, including real-time card-based payments;
- processing and distribution of bulk electronic direct credit and direct debit transactions, including welfare, Medicare rebates, salaries and vendor payments;
- various collection services, including internet, telephone and online card-based facilities;
- overseas payment services, including direct entry, electronic funds transfer (wires) and cheque;
- document printing services where agencies can electronically request the Reserve Bank to issue cheques and electronic documents on their behalf; and
- cheque reconciliation, repository and verification services including a system that can assist in the identification of cheque fraud.
Access to these services is usually by way of RBAnet (the Reserve Bank's internet-based desktop banking package) or direct data link.