Australian Banks Plan Billion-Dollar Investments to Make Electronic Payments Instant

Financial institutions in Australia are in plans to spend AU$1 billion to build new platform for online payments.

Photo: Francisco Schmidt/Flickr

Photo: Francisco Schmidt/Flickr

Banks in Australia are going to invest over AU$1 billion to create a network for real-time payments that will accelerate the processing time and will be more secure.

Financial institutions and banks in Australia have recently expressed concerns on the future of cryptocurrency, given its close relation to taxes. They acknowledged the need to enhance their services to preserve themselves from the increasing competitiveness.

There are now eight financial establishments and four banks that are planning to create the new payment network. The system will enable users to make payments both via fixed computers and mobile phones.

“There’s no doubt that old-fashioned payments regimes, and there’s probably nothing more old-fashioned than a cheque, just aren’t up to the digital era,” said ANZ’s chief Philip Chronican.

Paul Lahiff, who will be the chairman of the new payments platform, said: “I think whether it’s an individual customer or a small business or corporates or government, basically, people are looking for payments to be fast, easy and secure.”

The main drawback of the online payment system today is that it requires a few days to send or receive the payment, unless you send funds to another account at your bank.

“The current version of peer-to-peer lending isn’t successful; the next iteration might be more successful,” Chronican argued.

“Same with Bitcoin – I think it’s got some issues today, but who’s to say that the next crypto-currency doesn’t have some additional features that makes it more compelling,” he added.

Chronican also said: “My view is that the best way to compete is by making sure that your customers have what they need so that they’re not looking for other providers to provide services.’’

Belgian payment system provider Swift will be responsible for creating the new platform. The company provides its money transafer services for about 10,000 banks worldwide.

Swift CEO, Gottfried Leibbrandt, commented: “I hope it will mean innovation, I hope it will mean new services being able to instantaneously send money to somebody else, instantaneously receive money and be offered new services that allow them to do things that are now very cumbersome, take a long time.”

Over the last few years, the bitcoin industry in Australia has shown steady growth. There are a lot of merchants accepting the bitcoin payments today and their number will only increase in the near future.

Although the digital currency is only five years old, its use is predicted to rise in the upcoming years.

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