eftpos as a blend of leading-edge initiatives and a trusted national payments network

eftpos Chief Information Officer Ben Tabell explains how eftpos is a national payments network that enables real time payments for business and consumers across the Australian economy, owned and operated by Australians - but it’s also a company at the forefront of multiple leading edge initiatives.

While this may seem paradoxical, eftpos is emerging as a cohesive mix of the two ends of the spectrum.

In ten years, eftpos has evolved from a behind the scenes set of bilateral agreements relevant for point of sale only to a dynamic business, which is innovating and matching capabilities of International Card Schemes (ICS) for local demand at point of sale, for mobile and in online. eftpos has now diversified into a digital wallet and digital identity business, and is developing initiatives including QR code orchestration and a micropayments POC.

And the solid, trusted foundations of the eftpos payments scheme are helping it innovate for the future, in a robust and secure way. 

eftpos Members who participate in an eftpos payment service are required to follow the scheme rules and technical, operational and security rules for that service.

This ensures standard functionality and operations according to common standards for the service, including user experience, consumer protection safeguards, branding and settlement which are documented in our technical, operational and security rules.

Our diverse team has extensive expertise in service delivery within the payments sector and draws on more than 40 years combined experience in payments service delivery and technical support. We have delivered an SLA of 99.999% availability and round the clock support for processing, and in the four years since establishing, the eftpos Hub has never experienced an outage.

Our Disputes and chargeback services provides a tool for use by eftpos Members to manage the process to resolve disputed transactions and chargebacks arising from eftpos Transactions.

eftpos also provides merchant tokenisation services that promises to improve authorisation rates and reduce fraud rates for debit cards stored with merchants in their Card on File services. Mobile tokenisation services also support purchase, refund and cash out with cash out at sale using a mobile Pay service provider being a differentiator for eftpos compared with the ICS.

The growth of debit card transactions in Australia makes eftpos’ digital strategy even more important for competition and innovation. Our national network provides Australian FinTechs the opportunity to build innovative solutions and payments capability, with access to hundreds of thousands of Australian merchants and millions of Australian eftpos-enabled cards via the eftpos network.

eftpos is already collaborating closely with over a dozen FinTechs and industry organisations such as Fintech Australia and Stone & Chalk, in an effort to work with the brightest and most innovative Australian FinTech minds.

eftpos formed a FinTech Advisory Committee in collaboration with FinTech Australia, as another way of giving FinTechs a direct say in how they can access our payments network in the future.

eftpos has also chosen to deliver better digital experience through development of its assets (connectID, Beem It, QR orchestration) competing directly with Big Tech.

Last year eftpos purchased Beem It, the Australian payments App that enables consumers to send and receive money using their phone in seconds, regardless of who they bank with.

Australians are rapidly moving much of their daily lives to mobile and Beem It is a great Australian-owned and operated option for them to embrace digital payments. The purchase serves as a key element to eftpos’ strategy to diversify and move further into the digital ecosystem.

Another new eftpos technology that will allow Australian businesses to grow their digital sales at low cost is QR orchestration. Using enriched data and integrated customer loyalty services, by leveraging eftpos’ robust and secure Australian owned network infrastructure.

With trials to commence mid-year, the decision to rollout eftpos QR code payments and orchestration comes at a time when Australians are becoming familiar with QR code technology through daily interactions with COVID19 check ins and increasingly turning to digital shopping.

Also under development is the eftpos Digital Identity service (connectID), which will enable eftpos to establish itself at the centre of the digital ecosystem by allowing identity issuers and requesters to connect with the widest range of Australian identity owners.

As the broker providing ‘rails’ in the national identity network, we aim to connect every participant in the AusPayNet developed TrustID framework as well as in other Australian frameworks, such as the government’s Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF). Launch is planned for mid-2021.

eftpos recently became the 17th member of Hedera Hashgraph's Governing Council, along with the likes of Boeing, Google and DLA Piper. Hedera Hashgraph is a third-generation distributed ledger technology. We have conducted a proof of concept with one of many logical use cases being micropayments. We see this capability as another opportunity for our members and their customers to innovate with, driving further diversification for eftpos and placing eftpos in the middle of the digital economy.

Australian businesses know digital technologies are transforming work, life and business. eftpos understands this too. We are proud to be a market leader in developing digital payments solutions in collaboration with financial institutions and new fintech entrants.

As such, eftpos is no longer a card-only at point of sale business and has grown into a diverse business with competitive digital capability and significant eftpos-only payments and non-payments functionality.

Our purpose remains simple – to change the way Australians pay for the better. We are innovating in a way that remains true to our record of putting the interests of Australian merchants and consumers first, as a reliable, ubiquitous, low-cost competitor to the multinational schemes and global tech giants.