Australia’s payments market may be about to change dramatically

With the three key payment providers BPAY, EFtpos and NPP considering a merger, Australia aims to create a single payment platform to compete with fintech companies from other countries. The Australian Treasury and the Central Bank have separately assessed infrastructure, policy and technology, and the AUD 800 billion retail payments market will be at a tipping point in 2021.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of jobs and working hours in Australia fell by 0.1% month-on-month in the first quarter of this year and by 0.8%.

Bjorn Jarvis, director of ABS Labor Statistics, said the data showed the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the number of jobs and working hours in Australia in its early stages.

The number of jobs fell for the first time since the third quarter of 2016, with the private sector down 0.1 per cent month-on-month and the public sector up 0.8 per cent. The data also showed that among those with jobs, 6 percent held two or more jobs. In addition, the number of job vacancies in the first quarter fell 0.2 per cent month-on-month and 2.2 per cent year-on-year.

According to a survey of 1,514 australians conducted by Boston consulting group and market research firm Dynata on May 21 and 26 this year, the COVID-19 epidemic has had a certain impact on the consumer psychology of australians.

This year provides an even more important basis for development in 2021, as the new crown outbreak accelerates the spread of digital technologies, including payment technology.

With the outbreak of the new coronavirus accelerating the adoption of digital technology, including payment systems, this year has laid an even more important foundation for the development of 2021, The Australian reported on Wednesday. Since June this year, BPAY, EFtPOS and New Payments Platform, the most common payment systems in Australia, have been discussed for merger. Twenty-two members of the three organizations are discussing the three-way merger, which some believe could weaken competition and investment across all payment platforms, a process that could take up to nine months. The Australian Treasury and the Central Bank also launched an investigation into the environment.

NPP representatives have met competition regulators over the proposal, which is being reviewed by an industry committee that includes representatives of big banks on issues such as ownership, structure and corporate governance.

A number of banks are understood to support the partnership between BPAY, EFtpos and NPP because it would allow them to concentrate their investments, while retail stakeholders are concerned that the combination would reduce competition.

It is understood that the Australian payment market is a relatively small market. Credit and debit cards are widely used payment methods in Australia, and contactless payments (NFCs) are also popular in Australia, but the government is considering the need to protect the public interest by ensuring unfettered access to the retail payment market.