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ABA: payments system review is necessary and constructive

30 August 2021

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has welcomed the findings and recommendations of the Federal Government’s Review of the Australian Payments System, which will pave the way for modernisation and improvements to make Australia’s payments system world-class.

The review advises Government to focus on enhanced payments leadership, aligned payments regulation and simplified payments licensing and the ABA looks forward to working with the Government and industry to achieve these important goals.

ABA Chief Executive Officer Anna Bligh said the banking industry welcomed the review, which aligned with the submission put forward by the ABA in January this year.

“Our payments system is a major artery running through the Australian economy, so there are few more important tasks for governments and regulators than ensuring the service, safety, strategy and simplicity of that system,” Ms Bligh said.

“It’s been more than twenty years since our country updated our payments architecture. While existing regulations have served Australia well, we have seen unprecedented changes in how we pay each other.

“The knowledge and capabilities the banking industry has in this area will be critical to assisting Treasury to design robust regulatory architecture.”

ABA CEO Anna Bligh

“There is more to come as banks continue to adopt technology and payment infrastructure to provide more efficient and innovative services to customers. There is no time like the present to update the regulations underpinning this vital part of our economy.

The review also recognises that new technologies, business models and service providers come with greater complexity and risks. Payments regulation needs to be more responsive and able to support a dynamic payments industry.

“As customers change their banking behaviour and new technology arrives, the Government should not look only at the regulatory regime for these new advances but also work to remove outdated regulation that is stifling competition and innovation across the industry,” she said.

The ABA and the banking industry have worked with Government throughout this review and encourage continued collaboration.

“The payments ecosystem is vital to Australia’s economic success and our COVID-19 recovery. The knowledge and capabilities the banking industry has in this area will be critical to assisting Treasury to design robust regulatory architecture.

“I would like to thank Mr Scott Farrell and the Federal Government for undertaking this review, which will not only benefit the Australian economy but each and every Australian,” Ms Bligh said.

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