We’re heading towards the halfway point of 2022 and have been busy continuing to progress our work programmes. Read more about the developments we’ve had so far this year in the update below.

Payments Direction

We’ve now completed our market information gathering exercise (MIG) to gather information from those with recent and relevant experience in the operation or delivery of real-time payment capabilities. We received good feedback from the MIG exercise, with several organisations who work in the real time space able to provide insightful information.

Our initial focus on real-time payments align with a global trend towards real-time payment infrastructures and capabilities. This work is the result of our longer term investigation into payments modernisation activities and will help to further shape our strategic roadmap for modernising Aotearoa New Zealand’s core payments system. We’re now developing an options report to set out the approaches suggested by MIG respondents, assessing them against a range of factors outlined by the industry working group for this project. We’ll then work with our Board as they consider the report and confirm next steps.

Later in the year, we’ll be releasing an environmental scan, which will look at themes from our 2021 report and assess them against developments that have occurred in the year since. We’re also looking into producing a new consumer research study in the coming months, which would be an update to the consumer focused research we last did in 2020.

Management Committees

Our ISO20022 project team is busy preparing for the November launch of the ISO20022 messaging format for our High Value Clearing System (HVCS) and cross-border payments. All our Participants have been getting their internal systems ready for the launch, with the industry testing phase about to commence soon.

The industry are finalising some project details and getting ready to announce the implementation of SBI365, which will extend the processing of electronic payments to 365 days a year. We’ll be able to announce the implementation timeline to our industry stakeholders soon once it’s been confirmed.

API Centre

We’re continuing to make good progress across the API Centre’s 2022 work programme. We have several substantial initiatives underway, in addition to further development of our API standards.

The centre recently went out to Standards Users and Community Contributors with v2.2 and v2.3 release candidates of our standards for Account Information and Payment Initiation. The consultation period has now closed and the standards are being finalised prior to release in the next couple of months.

We’ve now also entered the next phase of work in terms of our partnering project. This phase will build on the excellent work undertaken in the first phase by the Partnering Working Group. The centre is currently focusing on how we can best deliver near term benefits to our Standards Users and the wider ecosystem. This will involve us working to address some key elements that will assist API standards users to enter into partnering more easily, including redesigning our existing bilateral template agreements, establishing a due diligence framework, and pressing ahead with a customer-centric workstream. At the same time, we are continuing to seek involvement and give our input to help shape the development of the Government’s Consumer Data Right (CDR). Using insights gained from the partnering project, the centre will be able to provide input into considerations on an accreditation framework, liability principles and risk allocation.

Our customer-centric work programme continues to be key to our work leading the future of open banking in Aotearoa. This work covers a variety of areas ranging from defining the framework and principles that will nurture customer trust in open banking, common terminology for the industry, and updating our Customer Experience Guidelines. We’re also looking into developing policy and guidance around managing customer consents over accounts with more than one account holder.

Regulatory radar

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) invited feedback on a series of issues papers to test their thinking about the Future of Money, and their role as steward of the money and cash system. We’ve made submissions on all three consultations, which are around the Cash System Redesign, Stewardship and Central Bank Digital Currency.

In the past few months, we’ve also submitted on the Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill, the Department of Internal Affairs’ Towards a Digital Strategy for Aotearoa, and the RBNZ’s enforcement principles and criteria consultation paper. You can now read some of these submissions on our website.

Implementation of the Financial Market Infrastructures (FMI) Act 2021 is underway. Currently the RBNZ has finalised the framework for assessing the systemic importance of FMIs and is looking to gather information to make these assessments. Standards are also being developed for the FMIs that will be designated. Our Settlement Before Interchange and High Value Clearing System will likely be considered for designation. We’re expecting to see an exposure draft of the standards later this year.

Making connections

We held the first session of The Strategic Forum for 2022 in April. Due to pandemic restrictions at the time, this session was held online. We had a great turnout with around 35 attendees from our Participant and Member organisations there to discuss the theme – ‘In pursuit of (payments) perfection’. These forums are an opportunity for Participants and Members to get together, whether virtually or in-person, to discuss strategic industry issues. Guest speakers for the April forum included innovator and entrepreneur Robert Hollis, Kate Wilson, Global Head of Consumer Credit, Deposits and Payments from RFI Global and Leeanna Kohn-Hardy, CEO and Founder of finappster.

Coming up soon, the API Centre will be hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, 18 May as part of Techweek 2022. The webinar will run from 9am-10am and attendees will learn more about the future of open banking in Aotearoa.

Philip Cass, API Centre Manager, will give an update on the centre and Gavin Wong, Lead Architect for the API Centre will talk about the API Centre’s common standards from a technical perspective. This will be followed by Jamie Leach, Chapter Lead at FDATA A&NZ, who will share with us the ‘bigger picture’ on open banking, including what she is seeing around the world, its benefits, and what it means for society. Registrations are currently still open for anyone interested in joining this webinar. And also as part of Techweek, our GM Strategy & Corporate Affairs Jane Retimana will be a panellist on Techweek TV to talk about open finance. This session will run on Friday, 20 May.

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that this year, back by popular demand, we’ll be running our flagship payments conference for the Aotearoa industry. The Point 2022 will be a full day in-person conference and Gala Dinner at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Wednesday 9 November. This will be followed by deep dive workshops on Thursday 10 November, with in-person and online attendance options. Save the dates in your calendars for now and we’ll let you know when registrations open soon.

We still have opportunities available to sponsor The Point 2022. To request information about conference sponsorship, email our Events Manager.