New Payments Platform Functionality and Access: Conclusions Paper June 2019

On 13 June 2019, the Reserve Bank released a report on the functionality of, and access to, the New Payments Platform. The report presents the conclusions and recommendations from the public consultation that the Reserve Bank has undertaken with input and assistance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The report contains 13 recommendations that, if fully implemented by NPPA and its participants, should address the issues and policy concerns identified during the consultation.

The report's overall conclusion is that the NPP is enabling payments functionality that largely addresses the gaps identified in the Reserve Bank's 2010–2012 Strategic Review of Innovation. However, it highlights that the slow and uneven roll-out of NPP services by the major banks has been disappointing and that this has likely slowed the development of new functionality and contributed to stakeholder concerns about access to the NPP. Therefore, the report includes a number of recommendations aimed at promoting the timely roll-out of NPP services and development of new functionality.

During the consultation, stakeholders also identified a number of access issues that could present potential barriers to entry for new participants. The report notes that direct access to the NPP should be open to a range of payments services providers. As a result, it makes a number of recommendations for NPPA to take action in relation to its participation requirements, the required capital contribution for participation and the governance arrangements for assessing new participants.

The Bank will, with the assistance of the ACCC, conduct another review commencing no later than July 2021. This review could take place earlier if the Bank becomes aware of significant issues or concerns regarding NPP access or functionality. If the Bank assesses that there has been insufficient progress in addressing the recommendations made in this report, it will closely consider the case for regulation via standards mandating functionality or an access regime imposed on the NPP and its participants.

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