Take a bow Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and National Australia Bank (NAB) – in that order. Setting the stage for Australian instant payments.
CBA was good to go to offer Australia’s new payments platform, Osko, back in February. NAB followed shortly, with ANZ and Westpac having to play catch-up.
ANZ rolled out faster payments via Osko in August, but still has work to do to integrate the service with its mobile app. Westpac has also been slow out of the traps: only its customers in South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory can make and receive faster payments and, as with ANZ, it still has work to do to enable customers to enjoy the full range of Osko services.
Osko, run by BPay, the payments service owned jointly by the country’s big four banks, is the biggest transformation of Australian payments in more than 20 years. Once all of Australia’s big four banks are utilising the full range of services, BPay forecasts that its current run rate of around 300,000 Osko payments a day will ramp up to 1-1.5 million.
Osko also represents a feather in the cap for SWIFT. The launch of real-time payments in Australia is an excellent example of SWIFT’s international expertise, and – with good reason – enables SWIFT to flag up the success of its global payments team.
Meantime, SWIFT is testing payments using the same platform across the Asia-Pacific region in China, Singapore and Thailand. Banks participating include ANZ, Bangkok Bank, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, CBA, DBS, ICBC, Kasikornbank, NAB, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Overseas Bank.
The positive news emanating from SWIFT should ensure that it goes into its annual Sibos event, this year in Sydney in October, in good heart. The notion that SWIFT would not fight back successfully against Ripple’s ambitious plans for the region was always likely to be kicked into touch.
Tinkoff – another first
Is there a better mobile banking and payments service on offer in Eastern Europe than that offered by Tinkoff Bank? If there is, the writer has yet to see it.
Tinkoff is now set to expand its ecosystem of lifestyle services by adding movie ticket bookings to its mobile app. With more than 300 participating cinemas in 90 cities across Russia, tickets can now be bought by Tinkoff’s Apple users and, later this year, by Tinkoff customers on Android handsets.
Tinkoff’s app includes an entertainment section, featuring a ‘what’s on’ guide, ratings and trailers of new releases, as well as information about soon-to-be-released films. The new service complements Tinkoff’s restaurant-booking service, and enhances its reputation as a major lifestyle banking player.
Hungarian instant payments launch on track
1 July 2019 is the target date for instant payments to go live in Hungary. The new payment system will operate 24/7/365, and will settle all single credit transfers up to the value of HUF10m ($35,200) within five seconds. It will also enable consumers to initiate instant credit transfers with just a mobile telephone number.
The timescale is ambitious, but it is probably well not to bet against Giro and its tech partner, Nets, delivering on time. Nets already has successful instant payments solutions live in Denmark, Italy and Slovenia.
In recent months there have been encouraging signs of banks in Hungary making shrewd digital investments. Erste is leveraging ACI Worldwide’s portfolio of solutions to drive its Open Banking strategy, support new revenue streams, and at the same time fully meet PSD2 and instant payments compliance requirements. Another long-standing ACI client, OTP, will now deploy ACI’s API Manager capabilities and, in addition, implement immediate payments. Both solution sets will serve as the architectural foundation for the bank’s enterprise-wide Open Banking strategy.
MKB, the country’s fourth-largest bank, teamed up with Oracle and, via its Flexcube core banking solution, now claims to be the first all-digital bank in Hungary after transforming its entire technology system.
2017 was a turnaround year for Hungarian banks, with lending rising for the first time in a decade. New consumer loans surged by 39% year on year, with retail deposits ahead by a very healthy 7% year on year. With low rates of unemployment, improving asset quality and sharp falls in non-performing loans, the international banks who stayed loyal to their local Hungarian units look set to be well rewarded.