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Man exploring the innovative solutions that the banking industry will provide in the year 2018

This year is going to be big for banking. There are lots of exciting innovations confirmed for 2018 that will change the way we deal with our finances, for the better.

Along with the New Payments Platform (Which is now live), here are some of the most exciting changes that we’re looking forward to in 2018.

Data-rich money transfers

Another payment innovation that we can look forward to in 2018 is the ability to send data-rich payments, also courtesy of the NPP. You know when you’re transferring money to a friend and you want to include a description so they know what the money's for, but you only have a very small character limit available? Annoying, isn’t it?

We’ll soon be able to write much longer payment descriptions of up to 280 characters (currently it’s capped at just 18 characters), taking the headache out of this everyday task. It’s bound to be one of those things that you never really think you need until you start using it and quickly realise that you don’t know how you ever lived without it.

Increase in voice biometrics

The use of voice to verify your identity and authorise transactions gained popularity in 2017 and is expected to take off even more throughout 2018 as the technology becomes more mainstream. Rather than logging into your mobile banking app using a unique PIN code, many more financial institutions will enable customers to log in using just their voice throughout 2018.

There are several benefits to this. Namely, you can’t “forget” your voice like you can forget a PIN number or a password. Plus, voice is one of the most secure ways to verify your identity – even more secure than facial recognition!

Comprehensive credit reporting

The comprehensive credit reporting scheme will be less obvious in our day-to-day lives than the previous payment innovations, but it could have the biggest impact (especially if you’re applying for a loan this year!). Under this new system, more positive data will be included on your credit report, such as how often you make payments on time, rather than only negative data, such as bankruptcies or whenever you’ve missed a payment.

By July 2018, the Big Four banks will need to share 50% of their customers’ credit data with leading credit bureaus such as Equifax and Experian, and by July 2019 they’ll need to have shared 100% of this data. This is a big win for consumers, as it will give lenders a clearer picture of your financial habits and will potentially make it easier to secure a loan.

It’s only early days, but it’s safe to say that everyone has fairly high expectations of the year to come. While last year will be a hard one to beat in terms of payment and banking innovations, with the launch of the NPP in February, I think 2018 will give 2017 a good run for its money.

Picture of Alison Banney wearing a black dress standing in front of a brick wall

Author bio: 

Alison Banney is the Senior Banking and Investment Writer for finder.com.au. She has worked in the content team for one of Australia's biggest banks, and is determined to help more Australians get excited about their finances through the use of clever content.

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