Innovating on Australia’s domestic card payments rails

Sometimes the most remarkable innovations are built on foundations that have existed for many years – creating new and compelling propositions for consumers and businesses, and driving flourishing new ventures.

We have seen this time and time again with the internet, where the foundations that were started back in the 1960s continue to inspire some of the most compelling network innovations that drive our economy today.

So too in payments, our emerging FinTech community has huge potential to innovate on top of Australia’s existing card payment rails to create inspiring customer propositions, incorporating multiple layers such as mobile apps, digital identity, data and payments via APIs.

That’s because traditional payment rails built out over more than three decades, across millions of cardholders and hundreds of thousands of merchant locations in store and online, have the capacity to be expanded by innovative thinkers and new technology. 

One only needs to look around to see these types of innovation taking place with the rise of BNPL, Apple Pay, Google Pay and the like, which all operate on existing card payment rails.

As younger generations shift away from the credit card products of their parents’ generation, the card payment platforms themselves remain as prevalent and more popular than ever before.

Debit card platforms are by far the most frequently used means of transacting in the economy and Australians most preferred way to pay, whether that be online, on mobile or in store.

And debit card platforms along with their operational systems provide the potential for FinTechs to use these ubiquitous networks for other purposes such as data products and digital identity solutions to keep people safe in the Digital economy.

FinTechs are only limited by their imagination of what could be possible, in fact card payment rails can be used for other transactions and value exchanges than just payments, for example digital receipts and warranty, and loyalty redemption and offers.

In Australia, we are extremely lucky to have access to robust domestic payments networks like eftpos, providing secure low-cost access for innovations such as Beem It and eftpos’ digital identity solution, connectID. But there is far more potential.

Norway’s Vipps mobile app, demonstrates how one local version can take off as an alternative to global Big Tech. Serving as a great example of innovation flourishing on top of a domestic card network’s rails with support from the local industry, for the benefit of customers.

Australians love of debit cards has transitioned into the mobile environment as people have provisioned their physical cards into mobile apps and use contactless and mobile payments more since COVID-19.

The move to mobile looks set to continue along with the rise of digital wallets and everything they are capable of beyond the payment mechanism, and in store mobile initiated transactions as the most common types of contactless forms of paying.  

Australians are already using digital wallets to pay for everyday expenses, and we recognise the growth opportunities are linked to how the value-added services that wrap around the digitised payment are achieved which is where FinTechs come into their own.

Now is the time to re-imagine the Australian payment experience with FinTech partners, by exploring existing technologies available through mobile devices such as Bluetooth, QR codes and other alternatives, while businesses look to implement new digital innovations to improve efficiency and create better customer experiences.

eftpos is in the process of transitioning from a card present retail business to be a major player at the centre of Australian digital commerce.

Though the eftpos network, FinTechs have the ability to access 51 million Australian eftpos-enabled proprietary, multi-network debit and multi-network credit cards, as well as access to hundreds and thousands of merchants nation-wide. 

eftpos’ expertise as a trusted Australian payments scheme, means that we can seamlessly combine identity and payments transactions within the same flow. Opportunities for deeper integration between payments and identity management processes will create even better customer experiences while reducing opportunities for fraud. 

eftpos’ connectID will be a key component of the new economic infrastructure that will transform the way we manage identity in Australia.

We are transforming the payment experience of tomorrow with a shift from payment transactions to digital customer experiences, supporting the needs of Australian consumers and merchants.

FinTechs are a dynamic and growing sector of our economy, and of crucial importance in the payments space. eftpos is proud to be a market leader in developing digital payments solutions in collaboration with Australian FinTechs.

eftpos is for Australians. Always.

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Bolstering Australian businesses through digital value added services

Small to medium businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy, contributing more than half of Australia’s GDP and responsible for generating around 7 million jobs, they serve as an invaluable resource to our economy.

They play a significant role in the Australian economy, often staying nimble and ahead of the curve and are led by some of our most innovative businesspeople – cementing our reputation as a nation of entrepreneurs.

Without a doubt, new business challenges have emerged recently – from forced closure during periods of long- and short-term lockdowns, ongoing cashflow issues, to the loss of a steady customer base. As a result, many businesses are looking for additional measures to help them stay open for business.

With debit cards accounting for around 70% of card transactions in Australia and more consumers moving away from cash after COVID-19, routing has the potential to deliver significant savings for many thousands of small and medium businesses across the country. In turn, these cost savings could also flow to customers in the form of lower prices or reduced surcharges.

As we continue to navigate the impacts of the global pandemic, eftpos is supporting Australian businesses by promoting a range of low-cost payment options and rolling out new value-added services.

Last year eftpos started to provide digital payments solutions for businesses wanting more choice and potential savings in the challenging COVID environment.

eftpos which is best known historically for helping Australian businesses and consumers with low cost and secure payment options instore, is now also available to Australian businesses that accept online card-on-file transactions from their customers.

This was an important milestone in eftpos’ Australia-first digital product strategy which also enabled the next stage of new value-added services for the Australia market.

One of which includes eftpos’ recently launched new digital payments capability which aims to boost productivity for Australian businesses by enabling funds to be both deposited or withdrawn from an account in real time.

It replaces manual processes with real time transfer of funds between parties, while also providing enhanced transparency and controls.

eftpos’ Deposit and Withdrawal capability opens up lots of new use cases and opportunities for Australian businesses such as peer to peer transfers, third party payment initiated withdrawals, insurance payouts, payroll disbursement, rebates, loyalty cashback, wallet funding, and newsagency lottery payouts, just to name a few.

This capability is good for Australian businesses because it aims to boost productivity by automating the manual and cost inefficient transfer of funds, using eftpos’ existing and trusted Australian card network with access to hundreds of thousands of Australian merchants and millions of consumers.

Another key component of eftpos’ strategy to drive digital competition in Australia is plans for a national QR code payments network.

Aiming to provide Australian consumers and businesses with the better data-rich payments experiences no matter where they choose to shop – online, on their mobile or at the checkout.

The eftpos technology will allow Australian businesses to grow their digital sales with low cost QR acceptance 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 national eftpos QR code payments network 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.

Right now in Australia, one of the important things for Australian business owners is protecting cash flow. There are many things outside their control such as labour costs and utility bills, however another way businesses may be able to reduce the cost of receiving payments is through Least Cost Routing.

eftpos has long supported Least cost routing (LCR) or Merchant cost routing (MCR), which is designed to help reduce payment costs for merchants. At its simplest level, LCR means whenever someone taps their debit card to pay, that payment is routed to the option which costs the least for the business.

eftpos is looking out for Australian businesses in many ways, from Deposit and Withdrawal capabilities that opens up new use cases and business opportunities, a national QR code payments network that allows businesses to grow their digital sales using enriched data and integrated customer loyalty services, through to least cost routing that can help potentially deliver cost savings.

As the Australia economy builds the road to recovery for small and medium businesses exposed to the shocks felt by COVID-19, this remains a key focus for eftpos, as we rally together behind local businesses.

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