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Inaugural Australian Payments Summit 2017 Recap

22 December 2017

The Inaugural Australian Payment Summit in Sydney brought together over 250 influencers and leaders who are shaping the new world of payments. The Summit was co-hosted by Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet) and Transactives.

Local and global payments leaders spoke about the delivery of the new payments platform in early 2018, open data, digital identity, regulatory alignments, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, emerging fintechs and developments in the UK, European and other markets.

Here is a recap of the key themes.

Harry Smorenberg, founder and CEO of Transactives, in his opening remarks welcomed Summit participants and spoke about how technology will remain the key game changer for the payments sector in order to deliver for consumers.

“While the plethora of apps, fintechs and merchant terminal infrastructure has created plenty of choice in the market, we are at the tipping point where the industry needs to evolve by collaborating more to ensure consumers have a seamless and simple experience.”

Chairman of AusPayNet, Rob Craig spoke about how the industry needed to be guided by a framework that put customers at the heart of their efforts. “As consumers opt for convenience of frictionless services and purchases, there will be growing expectations for the industry to provide seamless payments that will not require the consumer to actively initiate, authenticate and confirm a payment”.

Mr Craig also emphasised the importance of the Summit’s forum in bringing industry participants together and having the right debates to ensure that we are bringing the community along with us.

The keynote speaker, Dr Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Chairman of the Payments System Board, spoke about whether the RBA intended to issue a digital form of the Australian dollar (eAUD) and the “speculative mania” surrounding the market value of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.

Dr Lowe’s full speech can be found at https://www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2017/sp-gov-2017-12-13.html

The Summit also provided a deep dive into recent UK and European experiences. Dr Michael Salmony, executive advisor at equensWorldline, spoke about how regulators in these markets were driving the shift in open banking and that this would fundamentally transform the retail banking experience.

“APIs are enabling the sharing of connected consumer data, which will significantly enhance the customer experience as it will allow third party organisations to innovate and create alternative financial products and whole new solutions much beyond the embedded payments. This will be a radical departure from the past, and Australia needs to be more ambitious to seize this opportunity. For this it may be wise to draw upon our many years of experiences – good and bad – in Europe. We would much like to help everybody succeed in this fundamental transformation of our industry”.

Many panelists concurred that Digital Identity will play a critical role for payments innovation because it provided the gateway to the seamless customer experience. Victoria Richardson, AusPayNet’s Chief Strategy Officer, spoke about AusPayNet’s role in coordinating industry’s efforts and how they were working with the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency and with a range of other organisations (such as retailers, telcos and utilities) to solve the challenge of securely and conveniently identifying individuals and organisations online.

Australian panelists spoke about the new real-time payments infrastructure (NPP) due for delivery in the first quarter of 2018, moving Australia to the forefront of payments innovation.

F
inally, AusPayNet CEO Dr Leila Fourie, hosted a fireside chat with Simon Cant, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Reinventure, and Steven Wiggins, CEO of Payments New Zealand. Discussion revolved around the rapid increase of Fintech investment and how Australia’s Fintech adoption rate compares favourably to international trends. This was an appropriate lead-in to a Fintech showcase of Australia’s cream-of-the-crop innovators.

We look forward to the second Australian Payment Summit in 2018.

Taleen Shamlian- PCN Associate based in Sydney.