Australian Payments Council Launches Consultation Paper

The Australian Payments Council (APC), the strategic coordination body for the Australian payments industry, has launched a Consultation Paper inviting businesses, NGOs, government and consumers to comment on what is needed to support payments in the digital economy of the future.

In 2015, the APC consulted across Australia to develop the Australian Payments Plan. The Plan has guided industry thinking in areas such as the changing payments mix, open data and digital identity. The current consultation forms part of the Plan’s first triennial review. Since the Plan was developed in 2015, the shift to digital payments has accelerated as Australia’s economy has become more digital and global. Technological developments and new business models are underpinning this customer-led shift.

Over the last three years, cheque numbers have fallen a further 47% dropping to 80 million in 2018 after another 20% year-on- year drop. Cash use is also falling, with one in five people over 18 holding no cash at any given time. By contrast, card use has grown by more than 40% over the last three years to reach 8.8 billion transactions in 2018, and Australia leads the world in contactless payments. Almost 90% of individuals own a smartphone, and mobile payments are taking off.

The Consultation Paper – Payments in a global, digital world – highlights that Australia’s payment trends are part of a broader global evolution. It outlines challenges that have emerged or intensified over the last three years and suggests new ideas for industry collaboration. As part of the consultation, workshops will be held in Sydney and Melbourne. The Consultation Paper is available on the APC Website. The consultation is open until 22 February 2019.