In light of continued growth in the value of payments across electronic retail payments systems and following several glitches related to ATM, online banking, eftpos services, the Reserve Bank (RBA) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) are considering “strengthening the handling of any future disruptions”.

The RBA’s payment systems board annual report found that Westpac, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank suffered a ‘number of difficulties’ delivering consistent and reliable EFTPOS services to their customers in 2010-11.

As an initial measure, the RBA says it intends to formalise its requirements for the reporting of major retail payments system incidents Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) that provide retail payments services and operate Exchange Settlement Accounts with the Reserve Bank will be required to report significant incidents in their retail payments operations to the Reserve Bank.

Jost Stollmann, CEO of independent eftpos provider Tyro Payments said, each time a glitch occurs in the system, it can have a negative impact on retailers.

“Small businesses are severely impacted, when shoppers abandon their trolley and walk away. They lose hundreds of dollars in no time, not to mention the havoc and customer dissatisfaction. What is at stake is the reliability of the retail payment system with more than $400 billion spent annually,” he said.

“It is not rocket science. Retailers worried about disruptions or delays caused by their incumbent eftpos provider now have a reliable alternative. Choice and competition is good!”