Highlights from Payments System Board meeting in August 2019

Australia has seen many changes in their banking sector recently, with the government drafting a new bill to put limits on the transactions and making exceptions for digital currency. Payments System Board in a meeting recently discussed several issues regarding the banking sector of Australia.

The first and foremost topic of their discussion was the New Payments Platform(NPP) and its progress by financial institutions in rolling out the NPP for the customers. The progress is slow, but NPP Australia has approved a compliance framework as well as a roadmap for the launching of the new functionality.

ATM’s usage has declined within the country over the years because of the ease of online banking. Hence a number of ATM’s have been removed from the city and from those areas where other means of usage are available. The board requested for a suggestion that would help to improve the efficiency of the services while ensuring the availability of cash for the people.

Least-cost Routing(LCR) of contactless debit card transactions is now made available to merchants by many banks. Board suggested that banks discuss the importance of LCR with the merchants and provide them with information on all the payment methods.

The board also discussed the use of crypto assets in the country. They discussed the launch of Facebook’s new global cryptocurrency as well as Facebook’s new digital wallet service. They ensured that bank staff would continue to help all the domestic and overseas regulators to make sure that any payment system is addressed before it is launched.

A consultation has been planned for late 2019 when the board found out that the Council of Financial Regulators agencies is working on proposals that will be made to FMI. These proposals for FMI regulatory reforms will include changes to be made in the licensing arrangements and introduction of crisis management powers.

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