Accustomed to instantaneous and constant access to a global online marketplace, citizens now expect payment technologies to be responsive, intuitive and satisfying. Tolerance is rapidly falling for systems that involve navigating complex interfaces or that take days to transfer value between institutions.
The New Payments Platform (NPP) is Australia’s new payment infrastructure that is progressively being rolled out. It is a banking industry initiative that enables real-time payments for consumers and businesses 24/7. With funds landing in bank accounts within seconds of making the payment, citizens and small businesses will receive payments more quickly.
NPP allows an unprecedented amount of information to accompany the payment. Having real-time information helps ensure transactions are more easily reconciled, so reducing cost and risk. Additionally, organisations with contemporary accounting or business management software will be able to integrate their systems with the NPP so they can enjoy end-to-end, real-time payment and reconciliation. This could eliminate manual intervention in accounts payables and receivables processes, saving time and resources.
New citizen experiences
The Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Agency is among the growing number of agencies around the world that are using new technologies to make government services simpler, clearer, faster and more cost-effective. Its mission is to “lead the transformation of government services to deliver a better experience for Australians”. This is where we see the NPP has huge potential.
The NPP can be thought of as the "rails" of the payment infrastructure around which organisations can develop their own overlay services or "carriages". With NPP allowing us to change the customer experience of our customers’ customers, our vision is to work with government on ideas that use the NPP to transform their citizens’ experience.
We find that Design Thinking, a human-centred approach to solving business issues, is well suited to take advantage of the NPP rails to solve problems and develop the ultimate customer experience.
With a known citizen pain point in mind, our staff used Design Thinking to develop the concept of citizens simply scanning their number plates with their smart device and pressing "pay" to pay their vehicle registration. That would be vastly better than spending time queuing at agencies or going online.
Looking further into the future, as the NPP capabilities are expanded, imagine a bushfire scenario where Victorian citizens impacted by the fire are able to register for Personal Hardship Assistance Payments, link their PayID to their registration and receive their relief payment within seconds. Application programming interface (API) connectivity to the NPP can help facilitate large scale, secure payments across the state in many situations that will design the current batch, cheque and manual payment processes that prevail today.
We’re running Design Thinking sessions around “Customer Experience 2020” – what the customer experience will look like in 2020. We tailor them to clients’ strategy so they can explore how NPP can provide better citizen experiences, give greater visibility over payments due to richer data, as well as more efficient working capital management and operational efficiencies by leveraging Australia-wide real-time payment and data connectivity.
Given we see 40% of all merchant transactions in Australia, we are helping government and its agencies to understand where, when and how people spend their money. We are able to combine those insights from data with other capabilities to help government and its agencies deliver rich citizen experiences that fully harness the transformational potential of the NPP.