teaser1The year ahead

The slight delay in the publication of this Monitor gives me a chance to focus on what’s coming in 2012, when my usual message in the last issue of the year would focus on the year just past.

Many of us are returning from the holiday break newly resolved on self-improvement – give up this, lose that, do better at the other thing. APCA too is resolved on self-improvement. Back in August 2011, we gave a public commitment to reform APCA’s own governance arrangements so as to make it a fit vehicle for more inclusive, stronger self-governance of the payments system. This is currently a hot topic for the Reserve Bank, and has been one for APCA for quite some time as well.

So, next month, in February, we hope to be talking about a new model for how APCA works. This has to fit in with the views and needs of many different people and organisations, not least the public policymakers, so we know it probably won’t be a short conversation. But we hope it will be a successful one.

That would be quite a birthday present for APCA. This is our 20th year, as mentioned in the previous Monitor. We have a number of functions planned in 2012 to mark the occasion, including an informal dinner to recognise the contributions of member representatives and staff over many years in February, and a Symposium and Dinner in May.

The industry’s collaborative work needs to go on, even as we are working on a better way to collaborate. The industry and the Reserve Bank have just completed migration of all Australian payments traffic to the Common Payments Network, including the COIN, a new IP cloud provided by Telstra – an outstanding achievement that will give us the network we need to support future evolution. There is also significant collaborative work going on in relation to automated message standards and settlement cycles, the latter under the leadership of the Reserve Bank. Although these developments are likely to keep the industry engaged well past the current calendar year, we now have delivered enough of the reforms proposed in our 2008 Low Value Payments Roadmap that it is time to do a new Roadmap so as to develop a consensus on where to next. That task is also on the 2012 agenda.

We will also be releasing proposals on the future of cheques in the first part of the year, having conducted extensive consultation across the community in 2011. We are hard at work on the new arrangements for account switching, which need to be in place by 1 July.

I look forward to working and celebrating with the Australian payments community in 2012. We can recognise and honour the achievements of the last 20 years, even as we plan and execute the improvements of the next 20 years.

 

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