The start to our 25th year as the home of industry collaboration has certainly had a steady momentum! I’m hopeful that news of our new name has reached our entire readership, and that as the Australian Payments Network, we will continue to inspire innovation across our whole community.
Over the past months, we have worked closely with representatives from a cross-section of member and stakeholder organisations to reflect on our purpose and role, and to consider how these have changed over time. We’ve thought about how our purpose has evolved from managing the day-to-day operation of clearing systems, which was our primary function as the “Australian Payments Clearing Association”. This name was both descriptive and accurate, but the world of payments has changed significantly, as has our role.
Today, we are the home for collaboration and cross-industry innovation. We play an important role in driving continuous improvement, bringing together members and a growing number of new stakeholders. Moreover, in our role as champion of the payments system - as the defender as well as the promoter - we help the payments network thrive. The importance of the network - both in terms of the payments network and the network of people and members that are key to our success - inspired the choice of our new name.
Of course, a new name is only part of our repositioning. Later this month we will launch our new brand identity and logo, together with a new website that will offer our community a fresh look at the way we are working to help payments thrive.
The launch of our new identity has been planned to coincide with our move to new premises in Barangaroo, Sydney. We are busy planning a range of events, and I look forward to providing more details on these soon and to welcoming you to our new home.
In February 2017, we welcomed Ms Michelle McPhee as a new director to the Board. Ms McPhee is the newly appointed Head of Banking at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
Ms McPhee replaces Mr Lindsay Boulton, who resigned from the Board following his appointment as RBA Assistant Governor (Business Services). During his four years on the Board, Mr Boulton served on the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee, the Nomination Committee, and the Remuneration Committee. We thank him for his significant contribution.
We were pleased to play host to the annual International Council of Payment Association Chief Executives (ICPACE) meeting in February.
ICPACE brings together the CEOs of payment associations from around the world to share insights and best practice. In addition to Australia, this year’s meeting included representatives from Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and US.
In this period of rapid change, it is important for industry bodies to work closely together and the CEOs discussed a range of topics, from the increased globalisation of payments, to strategies for supporting innovation and working with new market entrants. If you are interested in finding out more about the approaches of our member countries, please get in touch.
In March, we were delighted to welcome David Beardmore, Commercial Director of the Open Banking Institute (ODI) to lead a discussion on open data. The ODI was a key contributor to the UK’s Open Banking Standard and David shared important insights from the UK’s experience to date.
David’s insights covered a range of topics from the complexity of classifying different types of data, to the requirement for education programs that ensure consumers and businesses have the right level of information about data sharing.
David used the data spectrum to help us think about different types of data.
If you would like a copy of David’s presentation, please get in touch.
During the first week of April 2017, our Emerging Technology Lead, Nick Cliff, took part in the first meeting of the international technical committee on standards. The ISO/TC 307 Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies met at the International Convention (ICC), Sydney. Around 100 delegates from the 17 participating and observing countries worked to explore the future of blockchain technology via an International Standard.
Back in September 2016, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved Standards Australia’s proposal for the establishment of international standards on blockchain. In its role as leader of this committee, Standards Australia will help guide the future direction of international standards to support the roll-out of blockchain technology.
At this first meeting, the formalities for the formation of a new ISO technical committee were carried out. A cross section of industry experts, consumer associations, along with government and non-government representatives made up an informed International Committee. A skillful Chair, Mr Craig Dunn, helped in navigating the range of opinions presented to arrive at creating several Study Groups.
The streams where Study Groups have been established are:
Additionally, the committee identified that work may be necessary in future in the areas of terminology, governance and interoperability, with terminology being treated as a priority by the committee.
The Study Groups will be left to scope their topics, with Nick’s continued involvement focussed on the identity stream. Contributing to the development of standards for the payments system forms an important part of our role as an industry association and we look forward to helping industry participate in the shaping of this emerging technology.
The next meeting for the technical committee is due to be held in six months’ time, in Japan. If you would like more information about our contribution to the identity Study Group, please get in touch.
In the UK, US and Europe, developments in the faster payments space are underway.
HSBC and Starling Bank have joined four other major UK banks in offering Vocalink’s Pay by Bank service so their customers can pay merchants online using the Pay by Bank app. The Clearing House in the US is rolling out a real-time B2B service, due to go live by the end of 2017. In Europe, the technology company DH Corporation is now offering a simulation testing environment for payment service providers planning to participate in the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme, also due to launch by the end of the year.
The Australian Government established a Black Economy Taskforce, in late 2016. The Taskforce is investigating economic activity outside the formal tax system, including deliberate misreporting of tax liabilities. As part of its scope, the taskforce is considering the role of cash in the economy.
An interim consultation draft was released on 9 May 2017. The draft report contained a number of findings and recommendations relevant to payments. The Taskforce is continuing consultation, and Australia Payments Network is participating.
The Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) recently announced the Govpass project.
In 2018, when the system is expected to be in full operation, a user will be able to prove their identity using pre-authorised third parties.
The project includes standards for accreditation, an identity exchange, and a single Commonwealth identity. The DTA anticipates that a range of government agencies at Commonwealth and State level, as well as third-party providers (banks included) will unite in this model.
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