Media Releases

  • Consultation on establishment of an Australian Payments Council

    MEDIA RELEASE

    21 October 2013

    APCA and RBA joint consultation on establishment of an Australian Payments Council 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association and the Reserve Bank of Australia today announced the initiation of a joint consultation on establishing a new payments industry coordination body, the Australian Payments Council.

    The proposed Council will engage directly with the Payments System Board to foster ongoing improvements to the Australian payments system.

    The new senior-level body will coordinate dialogue between the industry and the Payments System Board on strategic objectives and other payment issues. It will work to generate common industry positions for action and adoption by the industry.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “When systemic collaboration is needed, the Australian payments industry has a strong track record – the New Payments Platform Program is just the most recent example. However, there can be an initial challenge in developing the common strategic resolve to take action. Having a standing body such as the proposed Payments Council, with the ability to engage with the Payments System Board, should strengthen our ability to identify and address issues of common relevance in a timely way.”

    It is proposed that the Council be made up of representatives of diverse parties in the payments system including financial institutions, payment schemes and other payment and service providers. The proposed framework comprises a payments community of interested parties, from which the Council will be drawn.

    The establishment of such a body was proposed by the Payments System Board in the Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System conclusions in 2012. APCA and the Reserve Bank undertook a series of informal discussions with industry participants on possible approaches during the latter half of 2012 and have been jointly working on a proposal for the Council. 

    A consultation paper outlining the proposal is available on the APCA website. Responses are due on 18 November 2013. 

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • NPP Steering Committee appoints new Chair

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 3 October 2013 

    New Payments Platform Steering Committee Appoints New Chair

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), the administrator of the New Payments Platform (NPP) Program, today announced that Mr Paul Lahiff has been appointed independent chair of the Program’s peak body, the NPP Steering Committee. 

    Mr Lahiff brings a wealth of expertise to the NPP Steering Committee. His career includes more than 30 years’ experience in financial services including CEO / Managing Director roles at Mortgage Choice, Heritage Building Society, Permanent Trustee and WDScott.

    Mr Lahiff is currently chair of Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers, RFi and LIXI Australia. He is also a non-executive director on the board of Cancer Council NSW and until recently, ASX-listed Thorn Group Australia. In mid-2013, he was appointed chair of the APCA Stakeholder Forum. 

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said that the NPP Steering Committee was delighted Mr Lahiff had accepted the new position. “Paul’s skills have made him widely respected in the payments community. He will be a great asset to the Program,” said Mr Hamilton.

    Mr Lahiff will chair his first meeting of the NPP Steering Committee on 4 October 2013.

    The NPP Steering Committee comprises senior representatives from the Australian banking and mutual sector, an alternative payments provider and the APCA CEO. It is overseeing development of the new payments platform to enable fast, data-enriched and simply addressed payments services for Australian businesses and consumers.

    The NPP Program commenced at the end of June 2013 with the initial define and plan phase due for completion by the end of 2013. 

    ENDS

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

     

  • NPP Program welcomes new participants

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 28 August 2013

     

    New Payments Platform Program Welcomes New Participants 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the administrator of the New Payments Platform (NPP) Program, today announced that nine additional organisations have joined this major industry initiative.

    The initial participants are Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, Citigroup Pty Ltd, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cuscal Limited, National Australia Bank Limited, Reserve Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation.

    The nine new participants are Australian Settlements Limited, Bank of America National Association, Bank of Queensland Limited, Indue Ltd, HSBC Bank Australia Limited, ING Bank (Australia) Limited, Macquarie Bank Limited, PayPal Pte Ltd and Suncorp Bank.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said that the NPP Steering Committee was delighted to have so many leading organisations from across the payments spectrum joining the Program. 

    “It further demonstrates the industry’s commitment to take a collaborative proposal forward and develop new fast, data-rich infrastructure for everyday payments.”

    Program participants have the opportunity to review plans, budgeting, business requirements and technical concepts for the NPP as they develop, get involved in working groups and other forums and provide input to NPP decision-making. Executives from the 17 participants came together for an initial two-day plenary workshop on 26 and 27 August. The NPP Program is being independently managed for the industry by KPMG, following a competitive tender process earlier in the year.

    “Developing new payments infrastructure is a major undertaking with plenty of challenges to overcome. But with access to payments expertise and support from across the industry we can move ahead with confidence,” said Mr Hamilton. 

    The NPP Program was launched at the end of June 2013 with the initial define and plan phase due for completion by the end of 2013. 

    ENDS

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Industry-wide program to develop the NPP gets underway

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 1 July 2013

    Industry-wide program to develop the New Payments Platform gets underway

    The payments industry has begun a collaborative program to develop new, fast, flexible and data-rich payments infrastructure for Australia.

    The program commenced with the first meeting of the New Payments Platform (NPP) Steering Committee on Thursday 20 June 2013. The Committee initially comprises senior representatives from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citigroup, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cuscal, National Australia Bank, Reserve Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation and APCA. The Committee will also have an independent chair, for whom a search process is currently underway. 

    The initial six-month phase of the Program aims to develop business requirements for the proposed platform, together with a detailed plan and budget for the next phases of development. The Steering Committee has appointed KPMG as program manager to ensure a well-resourced, highly collaborative industry program. The Proposal envisages 2014 seeing a Request for Tender for, and selection of, the key elements of the operating solution.

    The organisations represented on the Steering Committee have agreed to participate in, and fund, the initial design and plan phase of the Program. Other account-keeping institutions will also be invited to participate in coming months, in order to make the Program as open and comprehensive as possible. 

    The NPP Program responds to strategic objectives for the Australian payments system set by the Reserve Bank’s Payments System Board in June 2012, after a two-year review of payments innovation (published here). The industry’s proposal in response was submitted to the Reserve Bank and welcomed by the Payments System Board in February 2013 (published here). 

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “From a standing start last June, key industry players have debated and agreed on a world-leading business architecture, enlisted the support of the Reserve Bank for the approach, secured initial funding and hired globally recognised expertise to make it happen. I want to pay tribute to the hard work and effective collaboration of senior industry figures to give us such a great start.”

    “The Steering Committee is delighted to welcome KPMG on board as the program manager. Their strong pedigree in large-scale program management demonstrated global payments expertise and detailed knowledge of Australian financial services helped them win an intensely competitive tender. We are all now looking forward to working together to improve the Australian payments system.” 

    ENDS

    For further information:

    Contact: Brad Pragnell, APCA Industry Policy
    P: (02) 9216 4837 M: 0408 438 618 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Payments Fraud

    "Chip card technology and extensive use of PINs is giving us a real chance to stamp out card skimming."

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 6 June 2013

    Payments fraud in Australia declines in 2012

    Payments fraud figures released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), the payments industry self-regulatory body, show a year-on-year drop for the first time since 2006 when publication began.

    The new figures for the 2012 calendar year show that the total amount of fraud on Australian cheques and payment cards dropped by 10% to $270m. When calculated as a proportion of the total amount transacted by Australians using these payment instruments, fraud dropped from 16.3c to 15.0c in every $1,000 transacted. Within this total:

    • Cheque fraud remained under 1c in every $1,000 transacted. 
    • Fraud on all Australian payment cards dropped by 11% to $261m. The rate of fraud dropped from 51.5c to 43.5c in every $1,000 transacted.
    • Scheme credit, debit and charge card fraud (signature-permitted debit, credit and charge cards and card-not-present (CNP) transactions) dropped from 96.4c to 79.3c in every $1,000 transacted.
    • Proprietary debit card fraud (PIN-only cards – POS and ATM transactions) increased from 4.9c to 5.4c in every $1,000 transacted.

    Today’s figures, including a breakdown by fraud types, are available at www.apca.com.au.

    Counterfeit and skimming fraud on Australian-issued scheme credit, debit and charge cards - used domestically and overseas - dropped by 53% over the past year to $27.6m, the lowest level since 2006.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “This promising news reflects the sustained effort of card schemes, financial institutions, merchants and law enforcement agencies. Chip card technology and extensive use of PINs is giving us a real chance to stamp out card skimming. This allows the industry to devote more preventative effort to online fraud, which continues to be a challenge as the internet becomes an ever larger part of daily life.”

    Over the past year, CNP fraud (occurring mainly online) dropped by 8% to $183m. This is against an increase of more than 20%1 in internet shopping over the same period. The drop in CNP fraud can largely be attributed to an increase in the use of authentication tools such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, as well as dedicated fraud prevention tools.

    Mr Hamilton said that while this first drop in CNP fraud is encouraging, there is no room for complacency. “It is essential that retailers and consumers get smart about online card fraud by taking some simple but powerful security measures when on the Net.”

    Information and video case studies on how small online retailers can protect their businesses and customers from card fraud are available at www.apca.com.au/getsmart. 

    The total amount of fraud on proprietary debit cards remained low at $16m. This is despite a 30% increase to $9.5m in counterfeit and skimming fraud, primarily driven by skimming at ATMs and in taxis over the year.

    “Helping to prevent this type of fraud can be as simple as watching how your card is swiped and making sure to protect your PIN with your hand when entering it at POS terminals and ATMs,” said Mr Hamilton.

    More tips on how consumers can protect against skimming fraud are available at www.apca.com.au/protectyourpin

    Despite the overall decline, today’s figures also show an increase in fraud occurring on lost and stolen cards. As fraud detection tools become more sophisticated, criminals tend to revert to theft or deceiving consumers to hand over their cards or PINs. Consumers are reminded to immediately report a lost or stolen card to their financial institution and to check their statements carefully for any unauthorised transactions.

    Importantly, Australian consumers are not liable if unauthorised transactions are made with their cards and will be reimbursed their funds as long as they have taken due care.

     

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556

     

    ENDS

     

    How to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.
    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying various cards in order to make a successful payment?
    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (eg hotel) or to a PO box number.
    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.
    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.
    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods - MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa.

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.
    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.
    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.
    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution. 

     

    • 1 NAB Online Retail Sales Index 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • Towards a Digital Economy

    A new report released as part of an industry action plan to manage the decline of cheques

     
     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    30 April 2013 

    Cheques continue to decline: APCA releases progress report on transition of Australian payments to the digital economy

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, released today the first in a series of planned reports on transition of Australian payments to the digital economy as part of an industry action plan to manage the decline of cheques.

    Today’s report entitled “Towards the Digital Economy: Milestones Report” shows that cheque use in Australia continues to decline rapidly. Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia show that for the year to 31 December 2012, cheque use dropped 12.5% – down from 256 million to 224 million. Over the past decade, cheque use has dropped by 66%. This decline is consistent with international trends.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “Assuming current trends continue, by 2018 cheques are likely to be a rarity. Our report is about making sure no Australians are left behind when that happens.”

    Today’s report reviews progress against the action plan released by APCA in May 2012(1) to ensure businesses and consumers that still rely on cheques are able to switch to electronic payments as cheques become scarcer and inevitably more difficult to use.

    The Report highlights initiatives and actions being undertaken by financial institutions, government and other stakeholders to provide alternatives to cheques and improve access to the digital economy including:

    • roll-out of the National Broadband Network and associated education programmes
    • implementation of a nationwide electronic and property settlement system through
    • National E-Conveyancing Development Limited
    • industry development of new real-time payments infrastructure
    • education programmes to promote online banking and use of mobile phones for payments
    • review of legislation that refers specifically to payment by cheque or cash only.

    “We have consulted publicly on cheques and there has been significant effort to engage government and other stakeholders on managing cheque decline. Today’s report shows good progress in implementing the resulting Recommendations and Commitments,” said Mr Hamilton.

    “Towards the Digital Economy: Milestones Report” is available at apca.com.au. APCA plans to release the next milestones report around the end of 2013. 

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications 

    Tel. (02) 9216 4817
    Mobile: 0409 716 556 

     

    (1) “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” is available at www.apca.com.au

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

     
     
  • Real-Time Payments

    The PSB welcomes the Committee's proposal for developing new infrastructure for fast, data rich payments.

     
     
     

    REAL-TIME PAYMENTS COMMITTEE

    MEDIA  RELEASE

    New real-time payment services for Australia

    The Real-Time Payments Committee is pleased that the Payments System Board has welcomed the Committee’s proposal for developing next generation real-time payments infrastructure in Australia.

    The Committee comprises seven leading financial institutions, supported by the Australian Payments Clearing Association1.

    The new infrastructure will enable fast, data-enriched and simply addressed payments services for Australian businesses and consumers. This complies with the Payments System Board’s strategic objectives relating to real-time payments, released in June 2012.

    The Committee Chair Dr Jennifer Fagg said, “The Payments System Board’s support of the proposal is a testimony to the industry’s collaboration and cooperation, working closely with the Reserve Bank, to improve the Australian Payments System.”

    The business architecture will be layered, comprising:

    • general purpose infrastructure, including a central clearing utility and simpler addressing solution, to be built collaboratively by financial institutions and connecting to real-time settlement at the Reserve Bank; plus
    •  overlay services that can be tailored to particular payment needs, starting with an initial consumer-oriented “convenience” service.

    “Splitting infrastructure and services greatly increases the potential of the system. We can promote efficiency, integrity and broad access through the general purpose infrastructure while seeking to foster competition and future innovation through overlay services,” said Dr Fagg.

    “We are looking forward to a range of real-time payment services developing over time. The bottom line is this would be good for Australian consumers and businesses – giving them more choice in making payments safely,” added Dr Fagg.

    A steering committee, to be formed, will be tasked with the implementation of the new payments system. The industry will be working to have the new infrastructure and initial convenience service available by the end of 2016.

    The Committee’s proposal is available here

    ENDS

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556 

    1Organisations with representatives on the Committee are ANZ, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, CBA, Citigroup, Cuscal, NAB and Westpac. Further information on the Committee is available at www.apca.com.au