Opening Statement to Senate Select Committee



Andy White Australian Payments Network
Andy White, CEO

On 19 February 2020, our CEO Andy White participated in the Public Hearing conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.

His Opening Statement follows:

Thank you to the Committee for the opportunity to be here today.

As outlined in our submission AusPayNet is the industry association and self-regulatory body for the Australian payments industry.  We also provide support to the Australian Payments Council, the payments industry’s strategic coordination body.

We have over 130 members, including financial institutions, retailers, neo banks and technology companies such as PayPal and Google.  As the payments landscape evolves, so does our membership.  Recent new members include Xinja, Volt and Judo banks, Quest, Adyen, Pin Payments and Rambus Global.

Our vision is convenient and secure payments for all. To achieve this, our role includes promoting competition and choice, effective self-regulation and leading industry collaboration.

Put simply, we bring together a diverse range of stakeholders to deliver payments system improvements that meet the changing needs of consumers and businesses.

As highlighted in our submission, the ways in which we all pay for goods and services have changed dramatically over recent years; Australian consumers are now able to choose from a range of convenient and secure digital payment options. Australia has a world class payments system, with among the highest uptake of digital payments.

This change has been consumer-led, enabled by technological innovation, both by fintechs and by incumbents in the payments sector. Opportunities for fintechs to provide complementary services to existing payment systems are growing and are being taken.

Payments is a network business and relies on collaboration between participants.  It is therefore encouraging to see such collaboration between incumbents and fintechs, resulting in more jobs, as well as consumer and merchant choice in the ways people make and take payments.

But, promoting competition and innovation in payments is not our sole focus. Our role is also to deliver efficiencies and control systemic risk, to ensure Australians do not lose confidence in the payment system. Australian consumers expect convenience and security and new financial technology must – and usually does – deliver both.

That’s why as the payments self-regulatory body, working in a co-regulatory environment with the Reserve Bank, we manage and develop regulations, procedures, policies and standards governing payments in Australia.

Our work involves developing AusPayNet’s rules and contributing to national and international standards as new technologies emerge to ensure Australian consumers’ sensitive information is protected, and they can pay with confidence.

In order to encourage innovation and emerging payment methods, it is our view that regulations should be agnostic to channel, technology and payment system.  It is also our view that there needs to be a balance between hard regulation and self-regulation.

To ensure that my introduction is comprehensive, I should note that I am also a member of the Banking Advisory Committee on the Consumer Data Right and Deputy Chair of Emerging Payments Association Asia.

Thank you again for the opportunity to appear, and I look forward to your questions.

Read our response to the Committee's Issues Paper here