New technologies are being applied to old business problems to create innovative solutions for consumers and service providers alike.
Please indulge me a little.
What do the following films have in common?
- Groundhog Day – Bill Murray
- Edge of Tomorrow – Tom Cruise
- The Time Traveller’s Wife – Eric Bana
- ARQ – Rachel Taylor
Simple, really. They all involve time travel that includes some form of paradox.
In these fictional stories there are usually two sets of protagonists: those that realise that the time travel loop and paradox is occurring, and those that don’t (or refuse to acknowledge it). The dramatic elements of these films revolve around the tension that is created between the two groups and the conflict that inevitably arises.
In the real world, in the present day, this tension is beginning to show in the interplay between two groups that are taking somewhat polarised positions on the use of emerging technologies.
One group appears to acknowledge that the genie of technology has been unleashed and that like the old myth, getting it back in the bottle without fundamental change is not going to happen. A second group holds the position that unless you mount a defence of what is currently in play, you cede control to the genie, and they are not yet in a state to cede that control. They will maintain the existing ways of working.
One example of this emerging technological genie that is posed to cause fundamental shifts in the ways of working is the release and eventual adoption of the New Payments Platform (NPP) from the consortium of Australian banks that have been quietly developing their offering for a few years. The NPP facility is now available for use within the retail arms of NAB, CBA, ANZ and Westpac banking group of companies. Of note is that the Reserve Bank and Macquarie Bank are also members of the consortium.
The platform’s facilities are based on the SWIFT basic infrastructure that has been in play for financial services communication and integration for some time. The big shift for NPP is the ability for consumers to set their own unique PayID, which can be used for transacting payments between the institutions without the need to provide the BSB and account number. Governance and ownership of the NPP fundamental business entity is the NPPA – a mutual company that has been established by all participants to own and administer the NPP platform and services.
Speaking of services, the NPP has established a new Overlay Services interface to the basic NPP facilities, which will allow any certified provider to create an instance of an Overlay that can be used within applications to transact with the banks. At the present time, the existing ‘transaction’ service is the OSKO from BPay.
So as of right now, just about every bank’s online transaction account and services application on your mobile phone will contain an OSKO capability.
To check if your bank and financial institution is OSKO capable, click OSKO your bank.
Once established, making and receiving inter-institution payments is fast and simple. You may not be able to remember your BSB and account number, but your phone number or email address is a given. You may not want to divulge your BSB and account number, but you provide your email address to people every day.
Of course, with a solution such as NPP via OSKO/BPay and PayID security is critical. The banks have built this into the solution from the ground up. In many previous funds transfer facilities, it was a case of providing the capabilities and functions first and then securing them. The NPP is the opposite approach. Security has been encoded into the software DNA for the capability, and then end user and business features and facilities have been established.
Consumers conducting NPP funds transfer activities will notice that the transactions are quick – significantly faster than the transfers that they are probably used to conducting with the existing BPay and BSB/account number combinations.
The adoption of the NPP facility from your bank is likely to be sluggish, as consumers may see this as just yet another payment system. However, the genie moment will occur when the consumer appreciates that the payment that they have requested happens in near-real time, and the range of institutions that are cooperating with NPP grows; once the consumer’s share/day trading account, superannuation fund, investment fund broker and other cost-weighted financial accounts can accept funds quickly to ensure that the transaction is conducted in an ‘immediate’ mode, so that the consumer’s decision to buy or sell, add or subtract funds is actioned within the same time period as the decision-making process. Then the take up of NPP will be rapid.
At present, the OSKO Overlay Service from BPay is in play for NPP. Soon, however, there will be a myriad of service providers, as businesses and institutions come to understand the real shift that is taking place in the financial services industry. This will highlight which of the two groups some institutions fall into. Those that are happy to relive their Groundhog Day over and over without changing, and those that understand what is happening and get onboard.