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CBA story

Cross-border payments in the age of speed and transparency

Cross-border payments in the age of speed and transparency

The speed of innovation in the financial services industry is closing the gap with the pace at which consumers are demanding change, particularly in payment transaction times.

As global commerce continues to boom and cross-border payment volumes rise, faster payments emerged as one of the key themes at the SIBOS conference in Sydney, October 22-25.

More than 8,000 delegates from across the financial services spectrum attended this year’s global financial services event, descending on Sydney’s Darling Harbour to discuss some of the leading innovation in banking and finance.

CBA’s Executive Director of Payments Innovation, Peter Maddison, sat on a panel that discussed the future technology of cross-border payments.

What’s changing?

While consumers are used to paying for goods and services very quickly through their debit and credit cards, payments through transaction accounts have historically taken much longer.

The technology that underpins these types of transactions is not seen by consumers, but improvements in transactions are judged by the consumer’s actual experience, Maddison said.

“Our expectations as consumers have evolved rapidly over the past decade. Smart phones have provided us with unprecedented access and transparency across all aspects of our lives and made it available anytime from anywhere,” said Maddison.

The future has begun

In 2011, CBA developed Australia’s first real-time core banking platform enabling customers to instantly transfer and pay CBA accounts.

More recently, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) has extended this capability and enabled real-time payments between financial institutions.

It is the NPP that has enabled a recent experiment into the possibility of real-time cross border payments between banks in Australian, China, Singapore and Thailand.

As a participating bank, CBA was able to successfully receive and credit all incoming payments to its beneficiary accounts within 60 seconds.

“Through this experiment we saw more than 50 per cent of transactions delivered within 30 seconds. This is a real tipping point for consumers as transparency and speed realign with expectations already held by consumers,” Maddison said.

Find out more around SWIFT’s real-time cross border payment experiment.