RBA to update transaction processing and settlement system for new payment streams

The Reserve Bank wants to be able to manage transactions for settlement in various domestic payment streams such as the New Payments Platform.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is seeking to update its customer transaction processing and settlement system to manage the transactional activity of its 60 overseas customers for settlement in the domestic High-Value Payment System, Austraclear, and other domestic payment streams such as the New Payments Platform (NPP).

The RBA said seeking a new system is part of ongoing plans to migrate domestic payments messages to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 20022 standard.

"The Reserve Bank's existing system does not support the new message formats," the RBA outlined in its invitation for EOIs.

It comes after SWIFT announced plans to migrate cross-border and correspondent banking payments to the ISO 20022 standard.

In announcing an invitation for expressions of interest (EOI), the RBA said the new internal system must be able to cater for the coexistence of SWIFT FIN messaging and the transition to ISO 20022 messaging standards for domestic and cross border payments and reporting plus (CBPR+) messages, and be able to easily incorporate ISO 20022 message formats for securities messages in the future if required.

See also: What is Australia's New Payments Platform?  

Specifically, the system, according to the RBA, must be able to monitor account balances in real time and allow for transactions ahead of release; automatically map instructions received from customers to a format that meets domestic settlement system requirements; be configurable to allow for straight processing and manual release of payment and security messages for domestic settlement; and send settlement confirmation messages to customers.

At the same time, the system needs to be able to manage permitted types of SWIFT instructions, such as blocking third-party payments; integrate and support the RBA's existing banking and payments systems; provide application, activity, and performance monitoring; maintain audit trails of key activities; provide reporting capabilities; and support and maintain current and future messaging formats without additional customisation by the RBA.

The EOI invitation process is the first phase of a two-phase selection process, in which this first phase will be used to identify vendor products, solutions, and partners that can meet its requirements, the RBA said.

The RBA, however, said it would not guarantee that it will issue a tender following the EOI process.

Submissions for the EOI closes on 16 June 2020, with expectations the project will be delivered in November 2021.

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