‘Pick up the pace’: Banks told to speed up introduction of new payment options

(Source: Bigstock)

Banks have been warned by the Commerce Commission to accelerate the introduction of new options for Kiwis to pay for goods and services. 

“More efficient payments between bank accounts will reduce both merchant and consumer reliance on the likes of Visa, Mastercard, and American Express and the costs associated with these types of payment methods,” said the commission’s chair John Small.

Bank transfers should not only enable consumers to pay bills but also offer them ways to pay online and in-person, he added.

Small listed several approaches such as the use of QR codes and mobile applications for in-person payments, which are working successfully overseas.

He stressed that banks should “pick up the pace” and that a regulatory backstop would help create an environment where new entrants can innovate.

“We acknowledge that the industry has demonstrated some progress in the payments space, but are concerned about the length of time it’s taking to see this realised for the benefit of Kiwi consumers and businesses,” Small concluded.

The commission is also considering asking the Minister to exercise powers that would enable innovation to happen promptly. 

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