Influencing and partnering to deliver Australia’s digital future

eftpos General Counsel and Company Secretary Robyn Sanders explains how eftpos innovations and thought leadership collaborations with key stakeholders, are helping deliver Australia’s digital future in step with the Federal Government’s Digital Economy Strategy.

In previous editions of the Networker we have shared our Product Roadmap 2021 Update, which outlined how eftpos aims to drive payments competition and improve consumer experiences in Australia’s fast-growing digital economy.

Last month our CIO Ben Tabell explained how eftpos enables both real time payments for business and consumers across the Australian economy and is a company at the forefront of multiple leading edge initiatives.

With its role as a mutual and the only Australian-owned separately designated payments system, we focus in this edition on how eftpos is actively collaborating with its Members, policy makers and regulators, merchant groups and small businesses to shape Australia’s digital future, fulfilling our purpose to “do good for Australia”.

The recent Federal Budget outlines the policies and actions the Government is taking to make Australia a modern and leading digital economy by 2030.

The Budget outlined several announcements and key investment areas directly relevant to eftpos including the Digital Economy, Digital Identity, review of the Australian payments system, e-invoices, and support for FinTech’s and Digital SME’s, which are also summarised separately in this edition of the Networker.

eftpos is actively making submissions into numerous government and regulatory reviews, issues papers and inquiries that will have significant bearing on how Australia’s digital future is shaped, and the ability of Australia’s businesses to compete with Big Tech.

Mobile Payment and Digital Wallets

The Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiry into Mobile Payment and Digital Wallet Financial Services focuses in on an area where eftpos can assist the Australian finance sector and broader economy to thrive and grow.

Through a combination of eftpos’ low cost access, mobile payments capability, ability to issue tokens, work with industry on real time digital payments and a ubiquitous Digital Identity solution, there is potential to bring many FinTech solutions to life, particularly in the mobile payments space.

eftpos is wallet agnostic and will work with FinTech’s and other digital partners to offer a fully digitised payments rail that supports a variety of competing digital wallets and other digital applications to encourage further innovation.

Recent figures show significant uptick in digital wallet usage with the likelihood of this becoming the most popular contactless way to pay in-store in less than a year.

Despite the Reserve Bank’s stated objective to enable Least Cost Routing through dual network debit cards in Australia in order to reduce merchant costs, this capability is currently not available for Mobile Point of Sale Payments (mobile), or mobile in app payments. This needs to be addressed as a matter of priority and appears to be a focus for RBA in its preliminary assessment issued 28 May that at least some issuers should be expected to continue to issue dual network debit cards with access to both networks in all relevant form factors (including mobile wallets).

eftpos has invested deeply in the mobile ecosystem, having purchased Beem It which was recently selected to build eftpos' QR code utility. While Beem It is building the infrastructure needed, eftpos continues to remain wallet and partner agnostic, and open to partnering with all FinTech’s.

Payments System and Regulation Reviews

Getting the regulatory architecture right will set Australia up for success in the digital economy for the short term and in years to come.

Substandard regulatory architecture has the potential to stall technologically driven innovation and stymie future competition, efficiencies and enhanced end user outcomes.

The aim of the Treasury Department’s Payments System Review is to ensure that the future regulatory architecture is fit-for-purpose and responsive to advances in payments technology and changes in consumer demand.

The regulatory architecture needs to address gaps, including the need to enshrine competition, choice and transparency as fundamental principles in order to drive better cost of payments outcomes, innovation and productivity benefits.

There is a need for clear rules around multi-network card/account access in all channels and form factors to ensure competition is maintained, and a requirement to make Least Cost Routing available on an opt out basis to ensure that the benefits it brings to Australian small business are realised quickly across all payment channels.

eftpos is currently reviewing the RBA consultation paper on the Review of Retail Payments Regulation released on 28 May, seeking stakeholder views on preliminary conclusions, and plans to respond to the Consultation ahead of the 9 July 2021 deadline.

eftpos believes the RBA has a great opportunity to ensure competition, provide greater transparency and simplicity of pricing for better consumer and merchant outcomes; and correct a trend for international interests to take unregulated positions that are ultimately detrimental to the industry and broader economy.

For example, the RBA had the best interests of the broader community and economy at heart when emphasising the right of merchants to control their cost by using the least cost routing (LCR) rails in 2013 and, although LCR has not yet been as successful as intended, there are various actions outlined by eftpos in its submission response that the RBA could still take to make it work better to achieve the regulatory intent.

FinTechs

As with previous issues papers by the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, eftpos will respond to the upcoming third issues paper, which is looking into ways for the FinTech community to gain greater access to the real time payments system.

This issue, along with others has been discussed amongst members of the eftpos Fintech Advisory Committee, with the Committee set to deliver recommendations on how FinTech’s can access and leverage the eftpos payments network for the betterment of Australia’s digital economy.

In summary, eftpos fully understands the importance of its role as an essential part of the national payments infrastructure. We remain committed to providing efficient, cost-effective and market-specific payments solutions for the benefit of all Australians and enhance productivity across the economy.

Robyn Sanders thumbnail
28-05-2021

2021-22 Federal Budget strategy and key areas of importance for eftpos

The recent 2021-22 Federal Budget strategy outlines the policies and actions the Government is taking to grow Australia’s future as a modern and leading digital economy by 2030, including an expansion of the Government's Digital Identity system.

There are several specific announcements and key investment areas directly relevant to eftpos including the Digital Economy, Digital Identity, review of the Australian payments system, e-invoices, and support for FinTech’s and Digital SME’s.

With the focus firmly on ‘securing Australia’s recovery’, economic indicators report the Australian economy has recovered strongly and is set to return to pre-pandemic levels earlier than expected.

The Federal Budget plan and almost $1.2 billion in investments are aimed to continue to secure the recovery by creating jobs, guaranteeing essential services and building a more resilient and secure Australia.

Budget measures to support those elements of the Digital Economy Strategy directly relevant to eftpos include the following -

1. Accelerating the adoption of e-invoicing across government and businesses

  • e-Invoicing is the digital exchange of invoices directly between the accounting systems of a buyer and a supplier that can deliver around $20 of savings every time an e-Invoice replaces a traditional invoice.

2. Strengthen Australia's national system of identity settings

  • The Digital Identity system will enable more secure and convenient engagement with government services, and in future, the private sector.
  • The Government will progress legislation to enable the rollout of the Trusted Digital Identity Framework which sets out the rules for the national digital identity scheme. The legislation will embed privacy, security and fraud prevention mechanisms to build trust and confidence by those who choose to participate.

3. Review of the Australian payments system

  • Ensuring that the regulatory architecture can support, accommodate and respond to advances in payments technology.
  • Continued innovation of this key economic infrastructure will be central to lowering transaction costs, improving safety and reducing the cost to doing business.

4. Supporting Digital SMEs

  • Over the next decade, the Government will focus on lifting digital capability and adoption of digital technology for SME’s across the economy to support new ways to work and do business, increasing profitability and saving time.

5. Supporting Fintechs

  • Building on Australia’s strong financial services foundations, the Australian Government is providing a supportive policy environment that will allow the fintech sector to grow.
Josh Frydenburg
28-05-2021

eftpos hosts FinTech collaboration at Intersekt

This month eftpos hosted one of its recent FinTech collaborations at Intersekt, courtesy of FinTech Australia.

The Intersekt conference in Melbourne is the leading, most thought provoking gathering of Australian FinTechs, hubs, accelerators, policymakers, regulators, investors and advisors, devoted to examining, discussing and unlocking the potential of Australia’s FinTech market.

Key discussions amongst members of the eftpos Fintech Advisory Committee included recommendations on how FinTech’s can access and leverage the eftpos payments network for the betterment of Australia’s digital economy alongside other recommendations.

As with previous issues papers published by the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre, eftpos will respond to the upcoming third issues paper, which is also looking into ways for the FinTech community to gain greater access to the real time payments system.

During the conference, eftpos’ CIO Ben Tabell took to the stage with Verrency to talk about their partnership, using the eftpos API program for a card-linked offers loyalty solution that provides meaningful value for millions of eftpos enabled cardholders.

The Verrency solution enables loyalty program providers to give cardholders rewards and discounts for making eftpos transactions on around 51 million Australian eftpos-enabled proprietary, multi-network debit and multi-network credit cards at participating merchants.

The eftpos public API program represents a great opportunity for Australian FinTechs to innovate on the eftpos network, with access to hundreds of thousands of merchants across the country.

Image of key meeting
28-05-2021

Beem It builds eftpos national QR code payments utility

eftpos today announced that its subsidiary, Beem It, had been selected to build the company’s national QR code utility – starting immediately.

The new QR code payments capability, which will be offered by eftpos, is expected to be in market as early as July 2021, with multiple merchants in trial.

eftpos CEO Stephen Benton said that following a global tender process, eftpos selected Beem It to build the QR code utility because of its previous experience with QR codes in the Australian market, the strength of its team and its familiarity with the eftpos network.

“It was great that we have the right expertise to build the new QR payments utility inside the Beem It team and we can get to work right away,” Mr Benton said.

“This is an important build because eftpos QR will provide Australian consumers and merchants with better data-rich payments experiences no matter where they choose to shop – online, on their mobile or at the checkout.

“The time is right because Australians are now very familiar with using QR codes for activities like COVID-19 check ins, and they are increasingly turning to new ways of shopping in the digital environment.”

eftpos purchased Beem It, the Australian payments App that enables consumers to send and receive money using their phone in seconds, in November 2020 to help diversify the business and move further into the digital ecosystem.

eftpos and Beem It are designing the new national QR code utility to be low cost and to facilitate many value adds for merchants and consumers such as loyalty, offers and receipts. The national rollout is expected to be completed in 2022.

Merchants and consumers will connect to the utility using a unique QR code presented by Merchants.

This enables consumers to initiate and transact securely with their preferred digital wallet. This innovative multi-interaction connectivity creates a new experience beyond payments, powered by eftpos emerging APIs.

Beem It Acting CEO Ciaran Forde said the build was an exciting opportunity for Beem It because eftpos QR orchestration would help Australian merchants create better experiences for their customers and potentially reduce costs.

“The opportunity to build out a piece of infrastructure that has the ability to fundamentally change how payments are made in Australia is an exciting one.” Mr Forde said. “Beem It’s app enabled a new way to pay and get paid, and we look forward to taking that approach to the world of merchant payments where there is immense undiscovered value for consumers and merchants.”

beem it on mobile phone
13-05-2021

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. 

Ben Tabell
30-04-2021

New eftpos marketing out and about

By now many of you will have seen the new eftpos marketing campaign while you are going about your daily business.

Whether you are shopping at the local mall or enjoying social media, the campaign in now front and centre for millions of Australian consumers and businesses, with its simple message - ‘your money, well spent’.

The campaign celebrates how choosing eftpos can help you stay on top of your day to day money, spend wisely on the everyday things that bring you joy and in doing so live a fuller life within your means.

You may have seen it recently on screens, Out of Home, digital and social.

VMO Chatswood eftpos
29-04-2021

eftpos to join Intersekt FinTech showcase

eftpos will showcase one of its recent FinTech collaborations at Intersekt next month.

The Intersekt conference in Melbourne is the leading, most thought-provoking gathering of Australian FinTechs, hubs, accelerators, policymakers, regulators, investors and advisors, devoted to examining, discussing and unlocking the potential of Australia’s FinTech market.

During the conference, eftpos’ CIO Ben Tabell will take to the stage with Verrency to talk about their partnership, using the eftpos API program for a card-linked offers loyalty solution that provides meaningful value for millions of eftpos enabled cardholders.

The Verrency solution enables loyalty program providers to give cardholders rewards and discounts for making eftpos transactions on around 51 million Australian eftpos-enabled proprietary, multi-network debit and multi-network credit cards at participating merchants.

The eftpos public API program represents a great opportunity for Australian FinTechs to innovate on the eftpos network, with access to hundreds of thousands of merchants across the country.

Intersekt
29-04-2021

eftpos’ new hybrid working model and why together is better

To Ashley Williams, Chief People & Culture Officer, the eftpos culture is what excites her the most. Particularly the genuine connection team members have to their work and each other.

Appreciating that people can learn so much in a smaller company due to the broad nature of roles, Ashley is focused on supporting and enhancing the eftpos Group culture, and to lift the commerciality of eftpos, voice of the customer, alignment, clarity, capabilities at both an organisational and personal level.

eftpos’ new hybrid working model is one project intended to realise the best of both worlds for the eftpos team. Pioneering a new way of working the long-term objective is for employees all to feel a real sense of purpose at work, while at the same time be able to embrace the non-work aspects of our life.

Ashely explains that while establishing the new ways of working at eftpos, the team is also driving a new program of work to define Group Values and intersections of the expanded eftpos Group of businesses which including connectID and Beem It. It’s all about how to best leverage the people, brands, capabilities and resources.

An eftpos value, which really is a universal value is “Together is Better” – together we achieve more than alone, and this is always true. eftpos is in the process of integrating the three businesses to form one collective whole, whereby the different businesses can retain their uniqueness and strengths.

This was top of mind as Ashley and others attended an all employee eftpos group offsite in April. The day was designed around coming together as one team, connecting and meeting new faces in person, which as we all know has been significantly impacted over the past year.

The entire eftpos team were inspired and enthralled hearing from two special speakers. Including World Cup of Martial Arts Gold Medallist Nadine Champion, who has dedicated over thirty years of her life to studying martial arts and discovering practical tools for strengthening the mind, developing resilience and building courage.

In addition, Anyier Yuol, spoke about having a Growth Mindset and the importance of resilience, positivity and adaptability. Anyier was able to share how these strengths empowered her to be vocal about the need for Diversity & Inclusion in the Australian workforce. Believing so much time is often wasted talking about Diversity and Inclusion without taking any practical actions.

Ashley believes this is a crucial point and is personally passionate about challenging perspectives; believing we all can promote a culture of acceptance and inclusion. Starting with having a dialogue until we are all comfortable and no longer have the fear of saying the wrong thing. 

eftpos’ purpose to do Good for Australia is a way in which the eftpos team can focus our social contribution on where it is most needed. Ashely says knowing we are doing good for the community is a great feeling, is another reason why it makes her proud to part of the eftpos team.

As a concluding thought Ashley reveals that work is a thing we do, not a place we go. We all want to stay connected and supportive of each other as human beings while striving to make this life juggle more enjoyable. And that why together is better at eftpos.

eftpos hybrid
29-04-2021

eftpos and Hedera Hashgraph feature at Blockchain Week 2021

In Australia’s first-ever national Blockchain Week, eftpos’ Ben Tabell and Rob Allen were joined by Hedera’s CEO & co-founder Mance Harmon, to discuss eftpos and the potential benefits that Enterprise Grade Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) brings to for Australia’s Digital Economy.

As a third-generation DLT, Hedera Hashgraph aims to solve for a number of issues encountered by earlier generations of blockchain technology including scale, security and performance.

Since mid-2020 eftpos has been collaborating with Hedera on a successful micropayments proof-of-concept, and now as a Hedera Governing Council member, eftpos will soon run Australia’s first Hedera network node and help shape the digital assets landscape in Australia.

On the Hedera Governing Council, eftpos is joined by a group of well-respected and diverse organisations including Avery Dennison, Boeing, Dentons, Deutsche Telekom, DLA Piper, FIS (WorldPay), Google, IBM, LG Electronics, Magalu, Nomura, Standard Bank, Swirlds, Tata Communications, University College London (UCL), Wipro, and Zain Group.

The Council members which are decentralised across geography, industry and time, in addition to a focus on regulatory compliance, contribute to building the trust layer for the internet.

Designed to be the most decentralised governance model for a public ledger, the Hedera Governing Council oversees a global network of nodes that aims, among other things, to enable low-cost micropayments for a range of use cases such as the Internet of Things (IOT) microtransactions and access to content streamed over the internet.

The relationship with Hedera is part of eftpos’ digital strategy, as we increasingly move into the Digital Economy, with online capability and other services such as digital identity and mobile wallets.

Australia’s Digital Economy future state is potentially very different from the one we have today, so this requires effort to envisage the issues and needs in the long term.

As a national payment provider, eftpos needs to be informed by experimentation and innovation, so we are not just for here for the present, but importantly also for the future.

Looking into the near-term future, enabled through DLT, the use cases need to be scalable, secure and facilitated at a very low fixed cost. With this infrastructure in place, we will open entirely new business models.

This is a natural extension of the eftpos payments network that we operate on, focused on facilitating low cost commerce for Australia.

Working closely with companies and applications such as Hedera and the other Council members, eftpos is planning for the next chapter in the payments evolution, and more ways to deliver a secure, transparent and digital ready future for Australia.

eftpos blockchain
29-04-2021

eftpos has a new brand logo and campaign!

This month eftpos unveiled a new-look logo and brand refresh to better reflect the brands digital transformation.

The new look is a key component of our much broader digital payments strategy, as we focus on creating greater value, ease and security for consumers and businesses.

The new logo and fresh brand colours follow the announcement of the eftpos digital product and technology strategy rollout over the next two years, which aims to make it easier for Australians to manage their own money and live a better life in the digital world.

It’s a bold and distinctive look and feel across every touch point – in store, on mobile and across all digital platforms.

The magenta colour is vibrant, modern, and highly distinctive. The evolved, stylised ‘digital e’ now perfectly represents the brand and its exciting future.

eftpos is one of Australia’s most iconic brands, and we were careful and thoughtful about how we needed to evolve it for the future.

It appeals to all Australians, including millennials who embrace the digital economy.

Extensive market research and consumer feedback from pre-launch testing has been extremely positive, confirming the new brand retains all the elements they uniquely associate with eftpos as a humble Australian innovator doing good for Australia.

The trust, convenience, and security they have come to know when using eftpos remains, and at the same time we are innovating and advancing for the future.

This brand refresh is a key component of our much broader digital payments strategy, focussed on creating greater value, ease and security for consumers and businesses by enabling compelling innovations for members, FinTechs and retailers that enhance the digital commerce experience.

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.

Which is why the dynamic, legible lowercase ‘e’ design of our new logo has been purposefully conceived for the digital environment.

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.

The new brand rollout will be a staged roll out due to the brand’s extensive presence, with over 50 million cards to be updated along with hundreds of thousands of eftpos acceptance marks displayed by merchants across Australia.

It will start to appear across eftpos assets including our website, consumer marketing campaigns, external communications and merchandise first. Over time it will begin to appear across our Members and stakeholder channels such as mobile and digital, new cards, terminals and merchant point of sale branding.

eftpos’ new brand platform ‘Your money, well spent’ will be the first to use the refreshed brand logo.

The campaign idea celebrates how choosing eftpos in your mobile wallet can help you stay in control and spend wisely on the everyday things that bring joy. And because they’re earned, not borrowed like credit, it’s ‘Your money, well spent.’

Coming to life across an engaging and educational launch campaign with contextual placements across screens, OOH, digital and social at the end of March.

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.

The evolution of our brand combined with our new digital product strategy is critical, allowing us to demonstrate ‘Good for Australia’ story and to optimise the growth for the benefit of Australia.

Anthony Dumont – Head of Brand and Marketing, eftpos

eftpos has a new brand logo and campaign!
31-03-2021