Speech Summary Issues in Payments Systems

The speech focuses on challenges and opportunities faced by the payments industry. Consideration is given to progress made by the industry in recent years including the increasing use of innovative technologies and developments in industry governance. The speech emphasises the critical role that the New Payments Platform (NPP) will play in the payments industry.

It begins by outlining recent progress in the industry. Specific innovations in the industry are discussed, such as the increasing use of contactless payments and mobile-phone-based point-of-sale card acceptance facilities. It suggests that the apex of such innovation has not yet been reached and indicates that future innovation is likely to be ‘disruptive’. However, the speech underlines that the ‘full flowering’ of innovation is dependent on system architecture and governance that is supportive of change. On systems architecture, it notes that the costs and difficulties involved with change should not stand in the way of improvement in service to the community. Moving on to developments in industry governance, consideration is given to recent reforms implemented by the Australian Payments Clearing Association and the establishment of the newly formed Australian Payments Council.

The speech then turns to the progress and challenges in developing the NPP. It explains the Bank's role in the development of this project – namely that whilst the Bank suggested that any new payments infrastructure should have a central hub, the industry was charged with developing the ‘roadmap’ for the project. The speech acknowledges the challenges of developing such a national infrastructure project but emphasises the importance to the community that the industry delivers on its commitment to deliver real-time, accessible payments. And it suggests that the project's biggest risk is not a technical one, but that an opportunity could be missed to provide infrastructure that will fully support the payments needs of the economy into the future.

The speech concludes by urging the payments industry to ‘stay the course’ and deliver on its collective commitment to develop and implement the NPP and build a payments infrastructure which is efficient, open to competition and will support future innovation.

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