Man looks at phone whilst having a coffee

Real-time payments are coming – and they’ll transform the way you pay and get paid.

Waiting up to three working days for a payment to reach your account will soon become a thing of the past, thanks to the imminent launch of Australia's New Payment Platform service (NPP) – and Regional Australia Bank will be one of the key institutions taking part.

Providing Australian businesses and consumers with a fast, versatile system for making everyday payments, NPP introduces 'real-time' transactions. It means that a recipient will receive funds mere seconds after they're transferred – even if the transaction takes place outside of banking hours, and even when the payer and payee have accounts at different financial institutions.

NPP chief executive, Adrian Lovney NPP chief executive Adrian Lovney

The NPP's chief executive, Adrian Lovney described the NPP's main objective: "What people will notice from day one is the ability to move money between participating bank accounts in a matter of seconds – and that'll be 24/7, 365 days a year. There'll be no concept of a weekend or a public holiday; it'll work all the time."

This major upgrade to Australia's payments infrastructure is designed to provide the foundation for a more streamlined banking system. It comes hot on the heels of similar initiatives implemented by countries like Korea and Japan, who have real time payment systems in place, and Singapore who is also close to completion.

The upgrade will improve cash flow, boost productivity and create new opportunities for growth, with businesses enjoying the benefits of being paid for a job on the day of completion. At the same time, consumers will experience everyday payments more akin to transactions made when riding with Uber, where paying the driver is instantaneously taken care of at the end of your trip.

It will also be easier than ever to make a payment in the first place because full bank details will no longer be required. A user will be able to initiate a transfer using just a mobile phone number, ABN (if applicable) or an email address – which is great news if you don't always have a payee's bank details to hand. In time, we could also see businesses sending an invoice to a client's mobile phone requesting payment and then see the funds appear almost instantly in their account.

With improved capabilities for enclosing data-rich information with each transaction, there'll be other significant benefits, too. Up til now, when a payment is received, there's often a lengthy process required to match that payment with the invoice – which is often a pain point for many businesses. The NPP will make it easy to integrate reconciliation into the payment process seamlessly.

The platform's speed and flexibility will no doubt encourage more innovation and competition, to the benefit of Australian businesses and consumers. It opens the door for the development of new apps designed to enable people to spend less time on inconveniences like paying multiple bills. And there's great potential for increasingly automated payment services too, so that whenever you drive through a toll or park in a car park, for instance, the payment is taken care of instantly and automatically, without the need for any direct input from you.

The NPP is scheduled to be up and running in Australia early 2018. To take advantage of this brand new platform for banking transactions, please ensure that your phone number and email address details are up-to-date in our system. If you have Internet Banking activated, you can update these details yourself.

Regional Australia Bank customers will receive information on New Payment Platform in the coming months – so watch this space for updates.