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Super-fast banking is finally here... sort of

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The era of waiting days for bank transfers to show up in your account is officially over, with the launch this week of a new technology that will bring transfer times down to less than a minute. But there is a catch.

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The new system, known as the ‘New Payment Platform’, uses technology developed by international payments specialist SWIFT to radically speed up the digital payment process without, they say, compromising security.

Ninety per cent of transfers made through the new system will take place in ‘real time’ – that is, in less than a minute.

However, while the NPP itself is up and running as of yesterday, not all banks are plugged into it yet. And even if yours is, so-called ‘real-time’ transfers will only be available when the bank that you are transferring to or from is also signed up.

The New Daily spoke to a selection of some of the country’s major (and not so major) banks to find out when they would be plugging into the new technology.

Two banks stood out as early adopters: Commonwealth Bank and the somewhat obscure Teachers Mutual Bank. Bendigo Bank has also made the service available to staff and some customers.

Generally, banks were pretty vague about rollout time, but the impression was that by the end of the year most banks should be plugged in.

Commonwealth Bank

The nation’s biggest bank is also the fastest – at least in this case. Commonwealth Bank customers can now sign up to the new payment method.

CBA said all customers need to is register a ‘PayID’ through the banking app – which means they no longer have to provide their BSB and account number – and they’re ready to go.

Westpac (including St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA)

Australia’s second-biggest bank was less prompt. The bank said a “small group” of Westpac customers would be able to use the new technology first, after which it would “gradually” open the technology to all Westpac customers.

After that, the payment system would roll out to its subsidiary banks, St George, Bank of Melbourne, and BankSA. The bank gave no timeline.

NAB

NAB was more forthcoming on timeframe, and the news was good: all NAB customers will be able to set up a PayID and make payments within the month.

ANZ

Of the big four, ANZ was the least forthcoming, with a spokesperson saying the bank would launch a “pilot with staff soon”.

“We will be announcing how we will roll out real-time payments to all our customers across Australia in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

Bendigo Bank

Good news for Bendigo Bank customers: bank staff and selected participants were able to access NPP from Tuesday, and all customers will have access to it “within the next month”.

Suncorp

Suncorp customers will also have to wait indefinitely. A spokesperson said: “Suncorp intends to join the NPP and we are currently exploring options of how quickly we can deliver this capability to our customers.”

Bankwest

A Bankwest spokesperson told The New Daily the bank would be launching “in the coming months”, but added: “[G]iven it’s a brand new service, we’re taking some extra time to ensure that when we do launch, it’s a seamless experience for our customers.”

ME

ME customers will have to wait. A spokesperson said the bank wanted “to get the design of our payments platform right, including functionality, data controls and fraud prevention”.

Teachers Mutual Bank

Customers – or members – of this mutual bank will be able to sign up for a PayID immediately.

That means members of Teachers Mutual Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, and UniBank will theoretically be able to transfer money in real time between each other and customers of the Commonwealth Bank.

This article was first published by The New Daily.

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