Eftpos aims for core network refresh with central payment hub

Payment system provider to overhaul bilateral links made between Australian banks in the 1980s with new centralised system.

Eftpos is to dispose of the complex bilateral links made between Australia's finanaical institutions in the 1980s that got the Eftpos system off the ground, and replace it with a centralised payments hub.

The new hub is intended to refresh Eftpos' core network and allow the company to bring new products to the Australian market faster. Eftpos is owned by its 14 founding members that include ANZ, NAB, CBA, Westpac, Woolworths, Coles, Citigroup, Suncorp, Bendigo Bank, and Bank of Queensland.

"This new hub has the potential to be one of the most significant developments in Australia's payments industry since Eftpos cards first entered the market almost 30 years ago," Eftpos managing director Bruce Mansfield said.

"It will not only help us to get our products to market much faster, but it also aims to significantly reduce the costs associated with product implementation for the industry as a whole.

"It means that any system changes or product enhancements will be done once centrally, rather than requiring participants to make multiple changes."

Eftpos said that global payments provider Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) had picked up the contract for the new hub following a tender process and months of analysis and planning. ZDNet understands that the contract with FIS is worth tens of millions of dollars.

Technologies such has NFC, contactless payment, and mobile computing have inspired a number of competitors to challenge Eftpos recently.

Members of Eftpos, Coles and Commonwealth Bank of Australia , have launched their own payment solutions, with the ANZ bank teaming up with Vodafone and Visa to develop a smartphone payment solution.

Not to be left out, Eftpos has been busy trialling its own mobile wallet technology.

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