Why trust is at the centre of everything Australian Payments Plus does 

12 June 2024
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Trust is the best path to continued growth, an antidote to consumer indifference and a business’ strongest insurance against competitive disruption, says Australian Payments Plus chair Catherine Brenner. 

“Trust is effectively a contract that guarantees an outcome. It's a mixture of our highest hopes and greatest worries,” says Catherine. 

“And we need trust because we have to be able to count on others, to rely on others to act as they say that they will. We need others to accept that we will act as we say that we will.” 

In the recent AP+ POV podcast, Catherine and AP+ chief executive Lynn Kraus discuss why trust is so important in the payments space and to AP+ in particular, and what AP+ is doing to win and retain trust. 

“For me, trust is really simple. It's about honouring your commitments and following through and doing what you say you're going to do,” Lynn says. 

“I've got a motto of closing the loop, and I think that's important for the basics of trust – letting people know where you're at with some commitment that you've made, whether you've got it and you're honouring that commitment. And it’s OK to be able to say it’s still on the list, it’s still not done. 

“That just builds so much goodwill and trust, and it's been hugely important at AP+.” 

AP+, which was formed by a merger of BPAY Group, eftpos and NPP Australia in 2022, has a very broad group of stakeholders, including the banks which own it and use its services, major retailers, regulators and government, and of course the millions of Australians who use its services to make and receive payments every day. 

Trust is non-negotiable 

“As a member-based organisation trust is just vital. Working hand-in-hand with our members to deliver for their end users is essential, and is what we're here to do,” Lynn says in the podcast. 

“And I think trust is just non-negotiable in that relationship.” 

This extends to another group of AP+ stakeholders – its employees. Lynn says you can’t be something outside the organisation if you are something different inside it and so employee trust is just as important. 

Brenner says along with consistency, reliability and predictability, another element of trust is security, particularly in the dynamic financial technology environment. 

“As part of that, we’re focussed on strengthening protection, not just that your payment gets delivered when it’s meant to and in the right amounts or that you receive your payment, but that it will also be safe,” she says. 

The ongoing focus on fraud and scams by AP+ has reduced the amount of fraud on its networks in the last six months compared to the year before, but Catherine says the organisation can’t afford to be complacent. “As we live more and more of our lives online for convenience and a better experience, we have to be super conscious that we are introducing new risk into our lives as we do that.” 

Defeating scams requires cooperation across the financial services sector and AP+ wants to make sure it’s doing its part. 

“We are investing in uplifting our capability around fraud monitoring. We are working with the industry around the development and rollout of a confirmation of pay solution, which will be game changing for individuals to make sure they're really clear on who they're paying and payments aren't being misdirected,” Catherine says. 

Grasping the opportunity that trust provides 

It is also working to educate consumers on the use of PayID – the ability to receive payments with a mobile number, email address or ABN instead of a bank account number – and PayTo – the digital replacement for direct debit. 

Additionally, AP+ has invested in ConnectID, a digital identity exchange that will let consumers prove their identity to make payments and open accounts without having to hand over documents or large amounts of personal information. 

Trust is also the basis on which the two-year-old organisation is moving into the future. 

“The bit that excites me the most is the position that AP+ sits in that trusted position in this country, and how our team here at AP+ is grasping that opportunity with the trust that's being placed in them, in all of us,” Catherine says. 

“There’s PayID and ConnectID and also the core bread and butter we can't forget, which is continuing to operate secure and reliable, eftpos, Osko, BPAY and real time payment transactions, day in and day out.” 


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