Media Releases

  • Submission to the Government's Financial System Inquiry

    "The Australian payments system is one of the most developed and dynamic in the world."

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    3 April 2014

    APCA continues to support co-regulatory approach

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, has lodged an industry response to the Commonwealth Government’s Financial System Inquiry (FSI) supporting a continued co-regulatory approach to payments system enhancements.

    The 17 years since the release of the Wallis Report in March 1997 have seen significant changes within Australian payments. In March 1997, payment offerings such as BPAY and PayPal did not exist and payment channels and instruments such as mobile, online and contactless were unknown – today these offerings, channels and instruments are used by millions of Australians every day. Conversely, Australians today use 75 per cent fewer cheques than they did in 1997.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “The Australian payments system is one of the most developed and dynamic in the world. Business and consumers have access to a broad yet increasing range of electronic payment methods and continue to embrace them enthusiastically.”

    Amidst this changing landscape, the payments industry and the Reserve Bank of Australia as payments regulator have been able to adapt and foster improvement through a co-regulatory approach. Mr Hamilton said that the industry continues to support this approach.

    “We have said to the FSI that the current regulatory structure encourages industry engagement with the regulator. We believe this has worked well and there is no need for any radical overhaul,” said Mr Hamilton.

    Mr Hamilton identified the ongoing New Payments Platform (NPP) initiative and the proposed new Australian Payments Council as recent examples.

    “The NPP is new payments infrastructure currently being developed collaboratively by industry in association with the RBA. It will provide businesses and consumers with a fast, versatile, data- rich payments system for making their everyday payments. This highlights the long-term benefit that a co-regulatory approach can produce.”

    “With the rapid development of new payment technologies, there will be emerging challenges that need to be addressed. The new Payments Council, which will include the RBA and industry stakeholders, will provide a venue for the industry as a whole to debate and respond to these challenges.”

    “We believe the co-regulatory approach taken thus far has proven to be a sound and sustainable way of resolving issues in a technologically-complex network industry,” said Mr Hamilton.

    APCA’s submission to the FSI is available at www.apca.com.au

     

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • New Independent Chair

    "Brings a wealth of skills and senior level payments experience to the Board gained both in Australia and overseas." 

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    5 February 2014

    APCA Appoints New Chair

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, announced today the appointment of Mr Robert Craig as the company’s new independent chair effective 1 January 2014.

    Mr Craig succeeds Mr Russell Rechner who retired at the end of his term in December 2013. APCA deputy chair Mr Stuart Woodward acknowledged the significant contribution made by Mr Rechner during his six-year service as APCA chair.

    “Russell presided over a period of steady expansion in APCA’s workload and increased value to the payments industry and its participants. This culminated in members voting for major constitutional changes to enhance industry governance in Russell’s last general meeting as chair. On behalf of the Board, I thank him and wish him all the best,” said Mr Woodward.

    Mr Craig brings a wealth of skills and senior level payments experience to the Board gained both in Australia and overseas. Prior to 2008, his 25-year career in financial services included senior roles at Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank, Bank of New Zealand and National Westminster Bank.

    In 2008, Mr Craig left banking to pursue alternative interests, including private equity and start-up investment. Since 2010 he has also been working with international consulting firms KR Strategy and ICG (where he is currently Practice Leader - Transformation) specialising in leading large scale organisational transformation programmes.

    Mr Craig has been appointed to a three-year term and will chair his first meeting of the APCA Board on 6 February 2014.

    Mr Woodward said the Board was delighted that Mr Craig had accepted the position. “The payments industry is entering a sustained period of structural and regulatory change, with major developments under way such as the New Payments Platform and the proposed Payments Council. APCA is in the centre of this evolution. With his all-round experience and passion for transformation, Rob will be a valuable addition to the industry leadership team,” said Mr Woodward.

    Mr Craig said that he was looking forward to the challenge offered by his new role. “This is an exciting time for APCA and the payments industry. I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the APCA team to improve Australia’s payments system,” said Mr Craig. 

    ENDS

     

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817
    Mobile: 0409 716 556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • Towards a Digital Economy

    MEDIA RELEASE

    20 December 2013

    APCA releases new report on cheques and the digital economy 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, released today the second Milestones Report on the transition of Australian payments to the digital economy.

    Today’s report shows that the rapid decline in cheque use is continuing as electronic alternatives become more convenient. Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia show that for the year to June 2013, cheques use dropped 13.3% – down from 241 million to 209 million. This compares with a 12.5% drop for the year to December 2012.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “When it comes to Australian payments, we are on the bridge to the digital economy. Our findings in 20121 predicted the irreversible decline of cheques. Recent trends suggest that they will be a rarity within five years. The pace of decline reflects the increasing uptake of convenient electronic payments.”

    Today’s Report highlights the initiatives undertaken by financial institutions and Government to ensure a smooth transition to the digital economy for those that still rely on cheques. It notes that: 

    • Same-day settlement for direct entry payments, which was introduced in November 2013, will support faster movement of value in routine electronic payments.
    • The use of mobile phones for payments, in particular for online banking, is growing.
    • APCA is coordinating a digital cheque clearing strategy to increase efficiencies in the cheque
    • processing system.
    • The industry is developing new real-time payments infrastructure which will improve electronic payments and provide another alternative to cheques.
    • Initiatives to automate paper-based processes, such as SuperStream for superannuation payments and PEXA for electronic property exchange in the real estate industry, have made significant advances. 

    “Towards the Digital Economy: Milestones Report” – Second Report is available at apca.com.au

    Milestones Reports2are released twice a year to review progress against the action plan published by APCA in May 20122 . The next milestones report is due for release in mid-2014. 

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556

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    1 “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” is available at www.apca.com.au

    2 See “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au