The days of waiting ages for your payment to go through are (basically) over!

A new Australian-wide payment system is set to kick off soon, where funds will be received in recipient’s bank accounts less than a minute after being sent – regardless of time of day, whether it’s a weekend or even a public holiday. The speed will apply even between two separate financial institutions.

The only cause for delay would be holding payments for reasons such as fraud investigation, which is a necessary security requirement to prevent frauds taking advantage of a fresh and fast system.

The push for banks to change to this new system will come from consumers expecting these instant transactions. To avoid losing customers, the Big Four are set up and ready to go come launch-day, along with most other big Australian banks.

Perks to look forward to…

You can use email address, mobile phone number, ABN or other unique identifier as your ‘PayID’ instead of having to remember a full BSB, Account Number and Account Name. That way, when people want to transfer into your account, you can just provide the PayID. (It’s not a compulsory change, BSB and account numbers will still work in the new system).

The opportunity for businesses to provide more details for transactions. That means when you go through your bank statement at the end of the month, or look at you account through an app, you’ll see the name of the business as it appears to you, e.g. Sally’s Hairdressers, not looking through and trying to remember where you spent $25 that could have been “XYZ Co”. While the new system does allow for this, it is up to the individual business to provide and update those details. 

No more character limit on your payment descriptions. Gone will be the days of “dinner payback fr…”. You will be able to put in a proper and full description when sending payments through to friends, so there won't be any confusion. 

Small businesses can improve cash flow management. If you're a small business that uses bank transfers, you can rely on payments to come through instantly instead of taking an unspecified amount of time depending on the bank. You can even manage your outgoing payments better, knowing exactly when cash is coming in and out.

It’s estimated around four out of five bank accounts will be able to take advantage of the change by late January, with just some international and smaller banks to come in later. This OzBargin forum lists the companies that will be signed up and ready to go by early 2018.