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Four ways we’re in a new era of payments

Associate Director, Strategic Sales & Platforms, ANZ Institutional

2024-03-13 00:00

The payments landscape is constantly shifting, and businesses in Australia face a choice: get on board with the new technology changing the way both the corporate and consumer sphere interact with payments - or get left behind.

As business leaders confront this inflection point, those who embrace this new era may enjoy an advantage over those who wait. Real-time payments are not just changing the way payments work between businesses, but also between businesses and users of their payment services – their customers. Payments after all, are very much a two-sided marketplace.

Australia first dipped its toe into the super-fast, 24/7/365 world of real-time payments back in 2018 with the launch of the New Payments Platform. Since then, a lot has changed – even if they’re sticking with the ‘New’ label after all this time.

Here are four developments in the payments space that offer the sector just a glimpse into the powerful future of real-time payments.


PayID, the NPP’s addressing service, allows users to register a mobile-phone number or email address as an alias for their BSB and account number. There are currently around 18.5 million registered PayIDs in Australia, according to Australian Payments Plus data, and usage is well up among businesses – for good reason.

For consumers, PayID makes the process of sending and receiving money much easier compared to old-style systems.

And for corporations, PayIDs are an effective way to reduce invoice fraud, as businesses can replace relatively anonymous BSB and account numbers with more recognisable and traceable PayIDs. It’s challenging for bad actors to register PayIDs that mimic those of other businesses, reducing the likelihood of fraud.


OSKO payments, the most common type of payment processed on the NPP, are now the default for most peer-to-peer transactions in Australia. On a single Osko transaction, the payment is processed end to end, from remitter to receiver, within 60 seconds 99 per cent of the time, and within 15 seconds 95 per cent of the time.

For businesses, OSKO offers some big advantages. With no cut-off times, OSKO payments can help businesses better manage time-sensitive payments. And with more fields for capturing payment data than traditional direct entry payments, reconciliation processes are improved.

As well as benefits around single payments, there is emerging work around OSKO and batch payments.

At ANZ, we see a lot of our corporate customers make payments through batch processes due to their efficiency and ability to make payments on set days or around set systems. It’s why the bank now offers an OSKO service that mirrors traditional direct-entry payroll or supplier payments but is processed through the NPP – making it easy to leverage the benefits of the network without making changes to existing processes.


One of the more-recent developments in the space, PayTo is a next-generation tool that will replace the old direct-debit system. It aims to address some of the key pain points of today’s payment mix – making both sending and receiving payments simpler and easier.

The launch of PayTo means Australia will be one of the first countries in the world to have a real-time payments network that supports both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ payments.

The system is designed to offer greater visibility and control to consumers and businesses when it comes to payments, letting them choose exactly how they pay. Setting up monthly instalments for something like car insurance will shift from what can often require complex paper forms to a digital-first experience as simple as providing your PayID.

PayTo also helps businesses collect payments from their customers. At ANZ, we think of PayTo primarily through a customer experience lens, with increased speed, fraud prevention and zero-effort reconciliation the major elements.

PayTo offers almost instant verification of account ownership so businesses can be confident in who is paying them. As payers need to authorise PayTo agreements within their banking channels before the first payment, businesses can have confidence the person paying them is who they say they are and they have not been provided with fraudulent details.

Finally, PayTo allows for zero-effort reconciliation. Businesses can automate transaction identification and match that with near real-time, receipt-of-funds notifications for faster access to cashflow.

It’s simple for businesses and simple for customers, allowing corporates to create an embedded or single-click payment experience, no matter the payment journey. Payments can automatically reconcile with zero-effort, creating productivity benefits within accounting departments.

The future

In June, Australia’s Treasury department released the results of its review of Australia’s payments system. Among the recommendations was a plan to make the NPP Australia’s main payment system going forward.

The shift will see the infrastructure that supports traditional direct entry and direct debit decommissioned, with all payments to route through the NPP.

The target date for that change is currently set for 2030 – which feels like a while, but in a business context for many is not that far away.

It’s hard to overstate the scope and nature of this change, and the impact it will have on all businesses which use digital payments. At ANZ, we recognise this challenge – but are also excited about the opportunities the shift will bring.

We’re looking forward to helping our customers navigate the change, and take the next step into the new era of Australian payments.

Kathleen Harker is an Associate Director in the Strategic Sales & Platforms team at ANZ Institutional

This is an edited version of a presentation delivered at ANZ’s February Data & Digital event in Perth

Four ways we’re in a new era of payments
Kathleen Harker
Associate Director, Strategic Sales & Platforms, ANZ Institutional
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