In so many ways, 2020 has been an extraordinary year for Australians and for our eftpos family. I’d like to begin by thanking our Members, partners, consumers and merchants for your support throughout what can only be described as a challenging year.
Notwithstanding the COVID, bushfires, floods and ongoing competition from global Tech Giants, in 2020 eftpos and our partners remained committed to progressing our digital transformation strategy and fulfilling our purpose – to do good for Australia.
We close out the year with the announcement of the proposed consolidation of eftpos, BPAY, NPP Australia, subject to ACCC approval.
The proposal preserves eftpos, BPAY Group and NPPA as distinct operations under a single Board. With the support of our Members, it also enables eftpos to continue to expand our online digital capabilities and innovation in areas such as digital identity, QR codes and mobile wallets including extending the role of Beem It to be an everyday app.
This is a key component in the continued transformation of our 35-year-old business. The strategy intends to create greater value, ease and security for consumers and businesses by enabling compelling innovations for members, Fintechs and retailers that enhance the digital commerce experience.
It is devised with an Australian focus, creating world-class innovations to compete against global Big Tech players.
Much of the work is already well underway and the business is deeply engaged with Members and industry participants to finalise detailed rollout schedules over the next two years.
A more detailed roadmap will follow early in the New Year, providing even greater clarity to members, Australian Fintechs and retailers about expanding opportunities for innovation and collaboration
The digital strategy has five key elements:
- Mobile Wallets
- Digital identity
- APIs and Fintech access
- National QR code payments rollout
The strategy we embarked on two years ago aimed to transition eftpos from a card present retail business to a major player in the centre of Australian eCommerce that leverages our world-class technology investments.
It’s been a journey not without challenges, but it has come together better than we could ever have hoped, with a keystone being the recent acquisition of Beem It.
In many ways, eftpos was Australia’s first Fintech and our digital strategy builds on that history.
Many of the digital initiatives leverage eftpos’ centralised payments infrastructure, the eftpos Hub, that was built in late 2014 and our Token Service Provider that went live in 2016.
Together, these assets provide locally-based, world-class, secure and accessible real time payments infrastructure. The resilient Hub infrastructure has been running at zero downtime since launch and enables local Fintechs and financial institutions to access, innovate and compete on top of the eftpos payment rails.
And we’re in the right business – debit cards is where competition is thriving in Australia today. Debit cards are by far the most popular payment choice for Australians as they move from cash and credit during this challenging time. Of the almost one billion electronic transactions per month in Australia, around 70% are now on debit and that number is growing every month.
The rapid pace of our transformation agenda means new initiatives are being introduced swiftly to encourage competition and innovation during the nation’s economic recovery, and at a low cost due to its accessible design and our use of global standards that facilitate choice.
The eftpos strategy leverages our industry investments to deliver a digital future.
Accompanying this technological transformation, we will also bring to life a new visual brand identity in the New Year.
I also wanted to briefly reflect on our commercial performance.
There is no doubt that FY2019/20 was a transformational year for eftpos, with the strong momentum enduring into the current year also.
Looking back on the year just completed (FY2019/20) we have transformed our financials, with a 35% improvement in revenue largely offset by higher refunds to fund Member build investment costs. Investments that are critical to grow, build and strengthen our product offerings for the benefit of all Australians.
Transaction volumes increased by 17.7% on the prior year before unavoidable COVID-19 impacts, which reduced the end position to a net 13.3% growth on prior year.
Encouragingly in the lead up to Christmas our volumes are performing well. With most states and territories having moved out of the more restrictive forms of lockdown measures, eftpos has seen a return to a sustained period of transaction volumes comparative to same time last year.
As we bid farewell to 2020, I wish you and your families a safe and festive holiday season.
We look forward to work with you all as we progress our strategy together.