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Setting a course with Payments Direction

04 August 2015

New Zealand is a payments frontrunner with systems, standards and user statistics that make many other countries green with envy. That’s an excellent standing for a small country at the bottom of the world. But as we all know, the global payments landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate due to ongoing advancements in technology and digitally driven innovation.

Digital innovation is at the core of most, if not all, long-term payments plans. We’re now starting to see some of those plans turn into reality with the emergence of innovative customer offerings and intensified competition amongst new and traditional players globally and here at home. Kiwis are a ‘tech savvy’ bunch so it comes as no surprise that as a nation we have high expectations that the payments industry will continue to deliver modern and technologically advanced services.

However, as digitally driven innovation takes off, there is a responsibility to ensure the integrity, interoperability and safety of the system is maintained as, after all, payments are the lifeblood of any economy. It’s also no wonder then that globally the expectations on regulators and payments associations, such as Payments NZ, are growing as people and organisations expect more from payments and those that govern them.

Keeping up with digital innovation, the rapid pace of change and Kiwi expectations requires a progressive payments ecosystem. We commissioned a strategic programme of work called Payments Direction to better understand what the future might look like and determine the work Payments NZ needs to do to effectively contribute to maintaining a progressive payments ecosystem. Throughout our work to date we have been working closely with an Advisory Group of our senior Participant and Member representatives.

Payments Direction has three companion outputs: an environmental assessment, our future view of the ecosystem, and a Payments NZ strategic roadmap.

The first programme output is our environmental assessment based on comprehensive research and qualitative surveying. Our research examined the global trends and issues relevant to our economy and payments system and the potential impact of those trends on New Zealand. Our research also included a number of Payments NZ authored reports including two discussion documents: Re-mastering payments messaging, which focussed on the strategic opportunities of ISO20022; and Payments Now, an overview of a number of international real-time payment systems. Both of these papers are available on request. Our qualitative surveying included surveys of industry organisations, user groups and consumers. These survey results have given us essential insights into the current state of payments in New Zealand and what stakeholder expectations are for the future. We will share insights from our environmental assessment work soon.

The second programme output is our view of what the New Zealand payments ecosystem might look like in 10 years time. This view of the future draws on both the results from our environmental assessment and the key factors we think are likely to shape the future payments ecosystem. We will be sharing our thoughts on the future of payments at The Hub event this September in Auckland.

We are now working on the third programme output which is a Payments NZ strategic roadmap. The roadmap will set out the work Payments NZ will carry out to ensure we contribute effectively to maintaining a progressive payments ecosystem. Over the next year, as we continue to firm up our roadmap and commence activities, we will keep you informed about the work we will be undertaking.

Payments Direction has given us the fullest picture of the payments ecosystem that we’ve ever had. It’s given us the opportunity to start setting ourselves up to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future and stay ahead of the curve. Payments Direction has been a ground breaking initiative for us and is another step in the strategic journey of Payments NZ since our establishment in 2010.

We will be publishing more information about Payments Direction as we progress our work – look out for our environmental assessment insights out soon.

To keep up to date with Payments NZ and payments industry news, you can subscribe to our weekly Top Reads email.

UPDATE Feb 2016: The key reports from this intiative are now available in the Payments Direction section.

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