SWIFT toasts 50m NPP buddies

Banking Day staff Payments, mobile & wallets
Paul Lahiff (L), outgoing chairman of NPPA with his CEO Adrian Lovney, at Sibos 2018.
Paul Lahiff (L), outgoing chairman of NPPA with his CEO Adrian Lovney, at Sibos 2018.

As the first day of Sibos - the global financial services networking event - drew to a close in Sydney last night, SWIFT threw a cocktail reception to celebrate the progress of the New Payments Platform. After a hard-fought tender process, SWIFT in 2014 won the contract to build the infrastructure, with the platform run by NPP Australia.

Alain Raes, Asia Pacific chief executive for SWIFT, paid tribute to the financial services community in Australia for its collaborative approach on the NPPA project.

“We believe it’s all about cooperation and we have never seen a community working so well together,” Raes said.

Raes singled out Paul Lahiff for special mention, citing his efforts in driving the process in its early stages. Lahiff will be stepping down as chairman of NPP Australia before the month is out.

NPPA chief executive Adrian Lovney spelt out the progress and success of the platform over its first eight months, noting that last week it carried almost two and a half million transactions.

“We are up to about A$40 billion in cumulative value of Osko payments and, importantly, 50 million Australian accounts are reachable for NPP payments,” he said. This is no advance on the number mentioned by RBA payments policy chief Tony Richards in a speech at the beginning of the month.

Other stats cited were that the number of registered PayIDs was at 2,068,227, the average transaction value was $847 and the largest single amount sent via the NPP to date is $17 million.

Lovney said that NPPA is focused on growing volumes with the remaining banks missing from the platform and discovering the many use cases that NPP can now bring to life.

He also acknowledged the many contributors to NPP including KPMG for its support and BPay for getting Osko off the ground.  Lovney pointed out Lahiff's status as the NPP’s first employee back in late 2013 (leading the then steering committee), and explained it was him, along with previous CEO Chris Hamilton, that cajoled the industry into action; “herding the cats” Lovney said.

One cat out of the bag was that Paul Lahiff is leaving NPPA and moving to Cuscal in about a week, with NPPA looking to recruit a suitable chair. Lahiff last worked for an ADI as managing director of the then Heritage Building Society in the mid 1990s.