Clearing houses to be cleared out?

Australia’s small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are embracing digital change with the introduction of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) New Payments Platform (NPP), rendering superannuation clearing houses obsolete.

Financial technology business InPayTech has advocated for a ‘member direct’ model as the next disruptive force in driving efficiency and super returns for SME owners and their employees.

InPayTech chief executive, Robin Beauchamp, agreed clearing houses had a strong traditional role in the processing of super contributions, but said a digital-first approach was now the most effective method for the industry.

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“The introduction of the NPP later this year heralds a change in the ground rules for payment processing, and provides a mechanism for same-day settlement of superannuation payments,” he said.

 “This is a step change in not only the time and cost efficiencies for superannuation transactions, but will heighten consumer expectations of the way their money leaves the employer, moves through the electronic banking system, to their super account.”

Beauchamp said there was a distinct reluctance from clearing houses to enable new technology. Where direct debit payment rules meant clearing houses would have to hold a contribution in its trust for an average of 4.2 days, new technologies would be able to provide same-day clearance.

“These firms are reluctant to embrace any model that reduces their income – particularly one that removes the capacity to earn income for abiding by the direct debit rules,” he said.

 “New technology, available to SME’s, securely bypasses this.”

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