The Assistant Governor (Financial Systems) of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Malcolm Edey,  has outlined progress to date of the bank’s review of innovation in payment systems, identifying some of the key issues that business operators and consumers have identified in improving the uptake of online payments.

The RBA launched its strategic review of payments innovation in July last year.  Mr Edey said the main focus of the review was on system-wide innovation, rather than proprietary innovations, as it is on the larger scale that inefficiencies or underinvestment are more likely. 

The review is drawing on the results of the RBA’s latest Payments Use Study, the full analysis of which is expected to be released later in the year.  Sumarising its findings, Mr Edey said that while cash is most widely used for low-value payments, credit and debit cards are used for payments between $50 and $500, while BPAY and internet banking were frequently used for bill payments and high-value transactions. Over the past three years, use of cash has declined relative to debit cards, with scheme debit and EFTPOS transactions both gaining share. Fewer than 40% of consumers reported paying by cheque in the past year. On the other hand, around90% of respondents had access to the internet, and of those around 80% had made an online purchase, and 60% had made an online transfer of funds. 60% of people with internet access paid most of their bills online.

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