Eftpos replaces bilateral bank links with central payment hub

Eftpos has replaced a network of complex bilateral links between banks and merchants with a centralised payment hub.

Eftpos has announced that its centralised payment hub , aimed at renewing the company's core network, has now gone live.

The hub, built by payment technology provider Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), replaces a network of complex bilateral links that have existed between financial institutions and merchants since Eftpos was first launched in Australia nearly 30 years ago.

Eftpos managing director Bruce Mansfield said the new infrastructure will enable banks to make centralised upgrades to the network, including facilitating faster introductions of new payment technologies, such as online, contactless, and mobile.

"Just 11 months after we signed a contract with FIS to build the Eftpos Hub, we are now live with a number of financial institutions and processing Eftpos CHQ and SAV transactions," he said.

The hub will also reduce network upgrade times from years to weeks and months.

"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," Mansfield said.

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

The hub will also have the potential to handle other payments traffic and support industry initiatives, Mansfield said.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, ING Direct, Suncorp Bank, and Strategic Payments Services have already connected to the hub. ANZ is set to be connected before the end of the year, with expectations that the rest of the banks including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and National Australia Bank will be connected to the hub by September 2015.

The payment organisation is set to join the bandwagon of contactless payments soon, with plans to begin rolling out Eftpos chip cards later this year, which will enable cardholders to conduct contactless Eftpos transactions.

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