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By Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont

To say that 2017 has been an interesting year is perhaps an understatement, least of all in the Australian banking sector which has seen some major announcements and changes that are likely to seriously improve the way we do everyday banking in Australia.

From long-awaited tech innovations to surprising changes that will put more money back in your pocket, 2017 has been a momentous year.

But if fintech and banking innovations aren’t your areas of expertise you can rest easy, here’s a summary of the major changes and how you can take advantage of them in 2018 and beyond.

1. The New Payments Platform

It’s been a long time in the works, but the New Payments Platform (NPP) is very nearly here, with news last month that participating financial institutions are set to launch the system to the public in early 2018. 

But what does that actually mean? Well, instead of waiting days to receive a payment from your work or from your friends after a lunch at the local cafe, transfers from bank to bank (and as a result person to person) will become virtually instantaneous. 

And in addition to the perks of super fast transfers, the NPP will also allow you to erase those pesky BSB and account numbers from your memory for good - instead, you’ll be able to use your email or phone number as an alternative banking ID. 

2. Goodbye ATM fees 

Who saw that coming? Not many I’d imagine, but that didn’t stop the collective cheer around the country as Australians waved goodbye to out of network ATM fees (hopefully) for good.

RBA data released in March revealed that cashless payments are increasingly in vogue, with ‘tap and go’ card payments now accounting for 75% of transactions over $10 in 2016, but despite this trend, not having to fork out that extra $2.50 for using an ATM is still a popular move - especially given that according to recent Mozo data Australians were wasting over $600 million a year on ATM fees. 

3. Positive credit reporting

In early November, Treasurer Scott Morrison paved the way for mandatory positive credit reporting to begin in mid-2018 which will ensure lenders don’t only take a person's negative credit history into consideration when they apply for certain financial products. 

This is great news according to Mozo’s Data Manager Peter Marshall who said the change could mean that Australians with a positive credit history benefit by being offered better rates on a number of banking products, such as on their home loans and credit cards. 

4. The age of app alerts

There’s no doubt that Australians love their financial apps, in fact, app use has actually doubled since 2014. While there have been a bunch of changes in the world of fintech during 2017, including the growth of ‘robo’ advice and chatbots, one of the simplest and most useful for everyday banking has been the move towards app and phone-based notifications. These alert customers to everything from balance statements, to high payments and will even warn you when your credit card repayment is due.

With so many major changes already and many set to be implemented in the coming months, make sure you stay tuned, because 2018 looks likely to be just as interesting in the world of banking as the year behind us. 

 

Picture of Kirsty Lamont wearing nice red jacket. Director of financial comparison website Mozo

Author bio: 

Kirsty Lamont is a Director at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. She is passionate about helping Australians get a better money deal and helping them make better, more informed choices.


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