If every year came with a theme, then 2022 has been all about reconnecting in-person. It’s been great to have those in-person meetings again to network and collaborate and we’re looking forward to more next year. As a whole, we’ve had a lot of highlights this year as a company, and below is just a selection of them.

Reconnecting the industry with each other

2022 has been the year of reconnecting with each other again through more in-person meetings and events. The highlight of our company social calendar this year has undoubtedly been The Point 2022 conference, which we held in November.

The conference had great attendance and we received fantastic feedback about the event. We are delighted to be able to hold in-person industry meetings, forums, and events again and look forward to more next year.

In 2022 we:

  • Ran a free webinar as part of Techweek 2022 in May with our API Centre team on the future of open banking in Aotearoa. More than 350 people registered to listen to speakers from the centre and the wider open banking ecosystem in Australia and Aotearoa.
  • Held two Strategic Forums for our 13 Participants and 34 Members where we discussed global and local trends and drivers and their importance to the payments industry.
  • Hosted a special The Link high tea for women in payments in November, the day prior to our conference. We had a full house for the event with over 40 women attending to reconnect and catch-up on industry news.
  • Brought the industry back together during The Point 2022, which was held on 9 & 10 November. The first day of the conference was held in-person at Auckland War Memorial Museum followed by online deep dive sessions on day two. Over 300 delegates from more than 100 different organisations attended the conference. We’ve summed up our top insights from the conference across two articles, see our key insights from day 1 and top takeaways from day 2.

World-class payments for Aotearoa

Our new company vision is world-class payments for Aotearoa. It better reflects the work we have been leading for the payments industry to ensure that all Kiwi have confidence in our payments system, now and into the future. The key to doing this is through ensuring our core clearing systems, which moves trillions of dollars around the economy every year remains safe, open, innovative, and interoperable.

This year, our clearing systems team has:

  • Announced the implementation of 365-day payments, which will extend the processing of electronic payments so the people of Aotearoa will be able to receive as well as send payments between banks every day of the year, including weekends and public holidays. This change will start being available to consumers from 26 May 2023.
  • Continued to review and update our rules, standards, and procedures, which set out the requirements for participation in our clearing systems and how payments are processed, to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose as those systems evolve.
  • Worked with an industry group to develop aggregated industry fraud reporting, which helps to keep customers safe.
  • Led the industry switch over to SWIFT’s ISO20022 messaging standard, which signals another significant change for Aotearoa’s payments system and goes live in early 2023. This change, which makes it easier to streamline communication between people and systems, affects all High Value Clearing System (such as house sales), and cross-border (where payments flow between different countries) transactions.

On the regulatory front, we have:

  • Made submissions on two Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) consultations. One towards the exposure draft of the proposed standards under the Financial Market Infrastructures Act 2021, and the second related to RBNZ’s review of the policy concerning overseas bank branches.
  • Submitted to Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Deposit Takers Bill.

You can read all the regulatory submissions we’ve made in 2022 and previous years on our website.

Leading open banking in Aotearoa

We were pleased at the government’s recent announcement on 10 November that banking will be the first sector to be designated under Aotearoa’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) legislation. Payments NZ’s API Centre has long been supportive of a fit-for-purpose CDR framework to help amplify the work the industry has been doing through the API Centre. We’ve already developed the building blocks for open banking and are looking forward to working closely with government officials to deliver what Aotearoa consumers need and want from open banking.

In 2022 alone, the API Centre has:

  • Significantly grown Aotearoa’s open banking ecosystem through our API Centre, which now has 25 Standards Users made up of 8 API Providers, 17 Third Parties and in addition 177 Community Contributors.
  • Worked on a suite of partnering initiatives that aim to streamline the process between Third Parties (such as fintechs) and API Providers (banks) looking to enter into bilateral agreements using the centre’s API standards. This includes, improving our existing bilateral template agreements, and developing a new due diligence service.
  • Led an industry workstream looking into how best to support Third Parties to obtain the required insurance cover for open banking scenarios.
  • Released versions 2.2 and 2.3 API standards for Account Information and Payment Initiation. We also made great progress with the development of version 3.0 standards.
  • Finalised our open banking equivalency principles, which looks at a principles-based approach for customer authorisation for joint bank accounts and those requiring multiple signatories, along with a frameworks for performance monitoring.

Discussing the future of payments in Aotearoa

Last year our Payments Direction team were focused on payments modernisation activities through their Payments Modernisation Plan. In 2022, the team has been engaging with the industry and wider payments community and having important conversations about the future of payments in Aotearoa, and how we can collectively get there.

This year, the Payments Direction team has:

  • Released a discussion paper, ‘Payments for the next generation: real-time in Aotearoa New Zealand’, and progressed engagement activities to broaden the discussion around the potential needs, benefits and risks of real-time capability with various groups. This work will continue into 2023.
  • Delivered a new 2022 Environmental Scan report which aims to keep the industry informed across the global and local trends likely to impact our payments ecosystem.
  • Published a new 2022 consumer insights survey, Understanding how Kiwi consumers pay, which is a follow-up to the survey we did in 2020. The survey results offered valuable insights into consumer preferences, attitudes, and behaviours regarding making payments in Aotearoa.
  • Commissioned, in partnership with ACI Worldwide, a study by UK economic thinktank the Centre for Economic and Business Research into the theoretical economic benefits a real-time system could bring to Aotearoa. The findings will be used to input into the discussions our team is having with the industry around what any future real-time capability could look like in Aotearoa. ACI Worldwide have also used the findings to produce a Real-Time Payments in Aotearoa report.

It’s been a great year, so thank you for your support

The list of who to thank for their involvement with our work is always far too long to individually name. In short, we’d like to thank all our industry stakeholders for supporting Payments NZ this year through your time, expertise and active participation in our work and events.

To all the many representatives from our Participant, Member and API Centre Standards User organisations who have generously shared their expertise and made contributions through our working groups, projects, initiatives, and governance committees throughout the year – thank you.

Last but not least, we’d like to extend another thank you to the speakers for our The Point 2022 conference, the sponsors and delegates. Their contribution to our conference was what helped make the event such an immense success.

Meri Kirihimete and Happy New Year for the coming holidays. Next year is already shaping up to be another great year, and we can’t wait to see and work with everyone again in 2023.