What is it?

Improved service availability is about considering the extension of electronic payments (e.g. direct credits, bill payments) to 365 days a year.  Having 365-day service availability will allow customers to make and receive payments to and from their bank accounts every day of the year.

We are working with an industry working group to explore enhanced service availability and develop a recommendation which sets out the proposed next steps for industry consideration.

SBI refers to Settlement Before Interchange – a SWIFT-based payment settlement and interchange system used by our Participants.

Why are we looking at it?

Technological advancements have given rise to a highly connected world that is always on, underpinned by continuous economic activity. This uninterrupted environment is changing the way people work, run their businesses and go about their day-to-day lives. In response to this trend, many industries are under pressure to meet customer expectations for improved service. The payments industry is no exception and there is increasing demand to meet the “always on” expectations of customers.

Today, our bulk electronic transactions between financial institutions generally operate over a traditional five-day business week.  We are working with the industry to explore the opportunity to extend this to 365 days of the year.

Where we’re currently at

The industry working group have been developing a recommendation about a possible move to 365-day service availability.  In early 2018 they finalised a draft report recommending steps which could be taken to extend availability across the system.  This report is being refined from a technical perspective and will be socialised with industry stakeholders over the coming months.

Following that socialisation we expect to be in a position to share the improvements the industry expects to make and provide a timeframe.