RBA demands banks deliver real-time payments. The Reserve Bank has issued a firm warning to the big banks that they will face huge fines unless they deliver on promises to provide real-time (nearly instant) inter-bank payments. To make a payment or transfer funds from one bank to another bank account in Australia can take 2-3 days and typically is an overnight wait. However, a New Payments Platform (NPP) launched last year gives banks the ability to deliver real time payments and other advanced services to consumers. “The [RBA payments system] board discussed progress by financial institutions in rolling out NPP payments to their customers,” read board minutes released by the RBA on Friday. “Members [of the board] remain disappointed with the progress made by some major banks and expect their commitments to be met.” The NPP Australia has the power to start fining banks (up to $500,000) if they do not meet timelines. RBA not worried about cryptocurrencies. The Reserve Bank is watching closely as Facebook’s plan to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra and a new digital wallet service, Calibra, takes shape. However, the RBA does not believe that cryptocurrencies like Libra pose a threat to the Australian dollar or other existing currencies. “As long as the Australian dollar continues to provide a reliable, low-inflation store of value, and the payments industry continues to work on the efficiency, functionality and resilience of the Australian payments system, it is difficult to envisage cryptocurrencies presenting a compelling proposition that would lead to their widespread use.” Westpac wants to teach you about scams. Nine per cent of Australians say they have been scammed in the last year with the average loss equalling $12,000, according to new research from Westpac. Westpac’s State of Scams Report found that two thirds of Australians are worried about being scammed and the cost is not just financial. For Aussies who have been scammed, half said they were also impacted emotionally, including 30 per cent who said they had lost faith and trust in others and 19 per cent who said they felt anxious about unknown callers. Two thirds were too embarrassed to tell their friends they had been scammed. To educate people about scams, Westpac has launched Scam Awareness and Protection Seminars. To register for your local seminar, visit www.westpac.com.au/security Swinburne University gets its own bank. A new Bendigo Community Bank branch, now open on Swinburne University campus at Hawthorn in Melbourne, is providing funding from profits for industry-academic collaborations, university infrastructure and other projects. The Bendigo Swinburne Community Bank officially launched on 6 August. Bendigo and Adelaide Group Managing Director, Marnie Baker said three 12-month placements for Swinburne students and research grants will also be funded by the bank. Swinburne staff, students, and alumni will have access to a range of special offers from Bendigo Bank. “Bendigo Bank and Swinburne have also co-created Australia’s first ever Master of FinTech degree,” said Ms Baker. “We are proud to be at forefront of this revolution and now have the first of our full-time placement students on board with us gaining vital real-world experience.” Win a $2K gift card with your personal loan. Peer to peer lender and personal loan provider SocietyOne is giving away five $2,000 Bunnings Gift Cards to approved personal loan applicants. To be in the running to win one of the Bunnings cards, apply and get approved for a personal loan from SocietyOne before the 30 September 2019. Terms and conditions apply. SocietyOne has personal loan rates currently starting at 7.50 per cent pa (comparison rate 9.51 per cent) with rates dependent upon credit rating. Compare personal loan rates from Australia’s banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders at InfoChoice. Is it legal to lie to your bank? One third of lenders do not ask whether a loan applicant has debts with other lenders. And there is no law that says the lender must find out how much applicants have already borrowed through other banks and lenders. Applicants may not even be legally required to tell the truth on loan application forms following Westpac’s significant court victory against the regulator ASIC last week. “The system is very far from satisfactory, the questions that matter are not being asked,” Banking industry expert Martin North of Digital Analytics told The Australian.