Skip to Content

We’re a finalist at the APAC Payments Excellence Awards 2023

Image with logo of APAC Payments Excellence Awards announcing finalists for the year 2023

We are excited to announce that Cuscal has been named a finalist for Most Impactful Payment Industry Innovation at the 2023 APAC Payments Excellence Awards.

We were nominated for our work in delivering capability that our clients use to create new, modern, digital payment experiences that enable them to innovate and compete as early adopters. We are proud to support our clients in delivering innovative and cutting-edge payments solutions that help them best serve their customers and grow their businesses.

The APAC Payments Excellence Awards, judged by a panel of experts, recognise excellence in the payments industry in the Asia Pacific region based on innovation, collaboration, and achievements.

We are honoured to be a finalist and look forward the awards on 13 October. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated!

Over 70% of NPP Identified Institutions enabled by Cuscal now certified to provide PayTo services

Sydney, 29 November 2022

A further 10 authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) have been enabled by Cuscal to offer PayTo services to customers. This brings the total number of ADIs connected to PayTo through Cuscal to 26, covering 33 bank brands, with eight payment service providers certified to provide PayTo Payment Initiation services to businesses.

The latest ADIs to be certified by Cuscal as Payer Participants are: Australian Mutual Bank Limited, Community First Credit Union, Central Murray Credit Union, Geelong Bank, Goulburn Murray Credit Union, Illawarra Credit Union, Orange Credit Union, South West Slopes Credit Union, The Mac and Unity Bank Limited (Unity Bank, Reliance Bank).

Clients certified to offer PayTo will make services available to their customers over the coming days and weeks, based upon their individual service delivery strategies and rollout plans.

About Cuscal
Cuscal was the first directly connected participant to be certified by NPPA as an Initiating Participant and Payer Participant for PayTo Cuscal facilitated the creation, orchestration and initiation of the first live PayTo payment on the NPP.

Cuscal’s NPP solution is the only fully compliant solution currently in market delivering all the features of the NPP, with access to all the flows and options for NPP messaging and services, optimising the PayTo and real-time payment experience for customers.

With over 4 years NPP implementation experience, enabling 60+ implementations since 2018, Cuscal has helped more organisations to access the NPP than anyone else, including more than half of all financial institutions and all of the payment service providers that are providing payments on the Platform today.

About the New Payments Platform (NPP)
The NPP enables smarter, faster and simpler payments for businesses and consumers, including PayID and PayTo, a new digital way for merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from customers’ bank accounts. PayID is a registered trademark of NPP Australia Limited. Osko is a registered trademark of BPAY Pty Ltd. NPP Australia Limited and BPAY Pty Ltd are part of the of Australian Payments Plus group. For more information visit

Media contact
Simone Perryman,

Pathways to access PayTo as an Initiating Business or Payment Initiator

As more banks (and by extension millions of customers) progressively connect to the PayTo ecosystem, attention is shifting to those businesses that have been enabled as PayTo Users and the innovative use cases that they are bringing to market.

But in an ecosystem of directly and indirectly connected participants, what pathways are open to businesses to access PayTo and the New Payments Platform (NPP)? And what role do different PayTo Users play in the creation, initiation and settlement of payments?

In this article we aim to shine a light on these questions.

The PayTo ecosystem

PayTo is an interconnected network of participants that connects customers, business and their financial institutions, facilitating the creation of PayTo agreements and ensuring the smooth flow of payment initiation requests and settlement of funds in real-time.

The PayTo participant ecosystem
Figure 1: PayTo participant ecosystem

While banks are instrumental when it comes to facilitating the authorisation and management of PayTo agreements by customers and settling funds when valid payment initiation requests are received, PayTo Users are the main players when it comes to the creation and initiation of PayTo agreements.

PayTo Users

In the PayTo ecosystem there are two types of PayTo Users: the Initiating Business and the Payment Initiator.

Initiating Businesses are responsible for entering into PayTo agreements with the debtor customer, defining the PayTo agreement terms that will be registered in NPPA’s Mandate Management Service (MMS) and authorised by the customer through their digital banking channel, and initiating requests for payment in accordance with the agreed terms.

Payment Initiators are responsible for the exchange of PayTo agreement creation and payment messages to/from the Initiating Businesses with the wider PayTo ecosystem, via APIs provided by the sponsoring Initiating Participant.

Initiating Participants

To access PayTo as a Payment Initiator, businesses need to be sponsored by an Initiating Participant: either a Connected Institution or an NPP Participant or Identified Institution that has been certified as a Payment Initiator.

Connected Institutions are only able to use the non-value messaging capabilities of the NPP Basic Infrastructure to create a PayTo mandate and send a Payment Initiation Request. They cannot clear or settle payments or issue or manage PayIDs.

NPP Participants and Identified Institutions that have been certified as a Payment Initiator have access to all flows and options for NPP messaging and services, delivering end-to-end payment initiation, PayID issuance and management, and clearing and settlement services through a single provider.

Clearing and settlement services can only be provided by an NPP Participant licensed by APRA as an Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI)This helps to keep payments safe because as ADIs, NPP Participants meet the prudential requirements set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to operate in the regulated payments environment and have access to RBA settlement facilities. Like in other payment systems, the NPP Participant can sponsor other organisations to provide clearing and settlement services on their behalf, and in the NPP, these entities are referred to as Identified Institutions.

Figure 2: Cuscal NPP services compared to other directly connected participants

Why Cuscal

As the first directly connected participant to be certified by NPP Australia (NPPA) as an Initiating Participant and Payer Participant, Cuscal plays a unique role in the PayTo ecosystem.

As a certified Initiating Participant, Cuscal connects high volume and high growth businesses, payment service providers, platforms and payment facilitators to the NPP as Identified Institutions and Payment Initiators, providing access to all the features of the NPP under a sponsorship arrangement. Businesses can connect to PayTo as an Initiating Business through a Payment Initiator under a proprietary commercial arrangement with a Payment Initiator that has been connected to the Platform by Cuscal.

As a certified Payer Participant, Cuscal provides banks, credit unions and mutual banks with access to the services required to receive, process and manage PayTo agreements and payment initiation requests, as well as the infrastructure required to clear and settle payments.

At Cuscal we have been helping our clients to access Australia’s payment systems with innovative solutions for over 50 years. As the market leader in providing NPP services, with over 4 years NPP experience enabling 60+ implementations since 2018, we’ve helped more organisations to access the NPP than anyone else, including more than half of all financial institutions and all of the payment service providers that are providing payments on the Platform today.

With the launch of PayTo, Cuscal has the scale, expertise, trusted industry position and comprehensive real-time account-based payment and payment initiation solutions required by Payment Initiators.

To find out more about connecting to PayTo as a Payment Initiator and how you can provide PayTo services to your business customers, contact Cuscal.

PayTo for business. The always-on digital way for businesses to initiate real-time payments from customers’ bank accounts.

The rollout of PayTo capabilities to online banking channels, with Great Southern Bank leading the way, has sharpened focus on ‘how’ and ‘why’ businesses should become initiating participants to enable real-time and future dated payments from their customers’ bank accounts.

In this post we look at how PayTo can help initiating businesses thrive in a digital economy with fast, reliable and secure payments that keeps money moving 24/7.

The case for PayTo

As an enabler of real-time digital commerce, PayTo supports a broad range of use cases, delivering tangible benefits for the initiating business, including:

Explicit customer authorisation before any payments can be processed from bank accounts, addressing one of its biggest payment challenges facing businesses today; the requirement for consent via Strong Customer Authentication to reduce the risk of fraud, unauthorised payments and chargebacks.

Message response times that are delivered in seconds, confirming that valid account details have been provided, that payment has been authorised by the account owner, and that funds are available at time of payment, improving the certainty of successful payment outcomes for the initiating business.

The real-time settlement of funds at time of payment to improve cashflow availability for reinvestment in the business.

From an operational perspective the data-rich ISO messaging capabilities of the NPP enables more precise transaction data to be included within payment initiation and clearing and settlement messages. Data that more accurately describes the terms of the payer customer’s authorisation, including; payment type (recurring, one-off or ad hoc), any ultimate creditor’s name, descriptions and creditor’s reference(s), all support the easier reconciliation of payments. This also provides richer data insights that businesses can use to tailor their products and services to optimise customer experience.

The format of PayTo mandates and the data that can be included offers significant benefits in terms of data quality and visibility, compared to the relatively opaque nature of direct debit arrangements established under the BECS Direct Entry system, particularly if the payment is being facilitated via an intermediary.

Taken individually, each feature of a PayTo mandate improves an aspect of the payment experience. Taken together they can help lower the total cost of payment acceptance for the initiating business.

How to connect to PayTo as a Payment Initiator or Initiating Business

Payment service providers, platforms and payment facilitators that process payments on behalf of other businesses, as well as high volume and high growth businesses that process their own payments, can connect to PayTo as a Payment Initiator through Cuscal, the market leader in NPP. Benefits include:

  • Only one access point required to initiate payments with all financial institutions connected to the NPP.
  • APIs supporting seamless integration and straight-through processes.
  • Structured data capabilities to support automated reconciliation.
  • Centralised, secure storage of PayTo mandates reducing the reputational risk from payments data breeches.

Other businesses can connect to PayTo as an Initiating Business through a Payment Initiator, benefiting from:

  • Real-time account validation when a mandate is created.
  • PayTo authorisation by the account owner through secure bank channels.
  • Real-time funds verification at the time of payment.
  • Real-time notification of payment outcomes.
  • Faster settlement compared to other payment methods.
  • Integration of notifications into customer service and support processes when a PayTo mandate is paused, changed or cancelled.

With PayTo now live in banking channels are you ready to transform your business with PayTo? To find out more about connecting to PayTo as a Payment Initiator, contact Cuscal.

Cuscal enabling PayTo for financial institutions, payments service providers, fintechs and enterprise

Sydney, 30 June 2022

Following the announcement that NPP Australia has opened access to PayTo for the first payments service providers, Cuscal announced today it is enabling 45 financial institutions and payment services providers with access to PayTo as rollout commences over the coming months.

Cuscal was one of the founding financial institutions that established the New Payments Platform (NPP), Australia’s real-time payment system, and enabled over 60% of the financial institutions that were live on Day 1.

Since that time, Cuscal has strengthened its position as the market leader in NPP services, building a strong foundation of clients, industry relationships, expertise and scale over the last five years.

Cuscal currently:

  • Provides access to the NPP for over half of all financial institutions and payment service providers on the platform that offer real time payments to their customers
  • Processes 18% of payments made and 19% of payments received on the NPP

Cuscal is working closely with a large group of banks, payments service providers and software providers to support the ramp up of PayTo over the next few months. Cuscal’s PayTo development and implementation project has included many financial institutions and PSPs who wish to drive payment innovation and improved customer experiences using PayTo.

Bianca Bates, Chief Client Officer and Deputy CEO, Cuscal Limited, said:

Cuscal is able to support a wide range of capabilities. We are about enabling competition. We provide services that let our clients innovate and develop their businesses. It has been a rewarding process to work with our financial institution and payment service provider clients to enable them to be the early adopters for PayTo.

The first group of financial institutions and payment service providers integrating with PayTo through Cuscal will go-live between July and September, followed by fast followers between October and December. The gradual ramp up of PayTo is expected to be completed in 2023 with full industry adoption.

Cuscal’s NPP infrastructure, scalable solution design and modular API services have made it possible for both existing and new clients who are focused on investing in innovation for their customers, to extend their NPP services to access PayTo, ensuring they are at the forefront of future payments innovation across subscription and bill payments, ecommerce and in app transactions, embedded finance and account funding, and the bulk disbursement of funds.

Cuscal has also partnered with software providers to ensure that Cuscal’s NPP Payments and PayTo services are integrated seamlessly into all clients’ digital channels to deliver an optimum customer experience.

Cuscal’s expertise and scale has also attracted clients who are nimble, innovative and focused to take advantage of one seamless onboarding to enable them to be first to market with Cuscal’s NPP Payments and PayTo services.

James Foster, Chief Executive Officer, Ezypay, commented:

We chose to partner with Cuscal as we knew they could deliver on our requirements to be live with PayTo on Day 1. We are a leading subscription payments fintech and it’s comforting to know that Cuscal’s vision for the future of payments in Australia is strongly aligned with ours.

For more information about Cuscal’s PayTo initiation services, click here.

Payment Services Providers – initiating PayTo payments for businesses

  1. Azupay
  2. Ezypay
  3. Global Payments (Eway, Ezidebit)
  4. GoCardless
  5. Hay Limited
  6. Merchant Warrior
  7. Monoova
  8. Paypa Plane
  9. Zai (formerly Assembly Payments)

Payer Financial Institutions – making PayTo payments for customers

  1. Australian Mutual Bank
  2. Australian Unity Bank
  3. Bank Australia
  4. Bank of Queensland (BOQ and Virgin Money)
  5. Bank WAW
  6. bcu
  7. Bendigo Bank
  8. Beyond Bank
  9. Central Murray Credit Union
  10. Community First Credit Union
  11. Credit Union SA
  12. Defence Bank
  13. First Option Bank
  14. Geelong Bank
  15. Goulburn Murray Credit Union
  16. Hay Limited
  17. Horizon Bank
  18. Illawarra Credit Union
  19. Laboratories Credit Union
  20. Great Southern Bank
  21. MyState Bank
  22. Northern Inland Credit Union
  23. Orange Credit Union
  24. P&N Bank
  25. People’s Choice
  26. Police Credit Union
  27. Queensland Country Bank
  28. RACQ Bank
  29. Regional Australia Bank
  30. South West Slopes Credit Union
  31. Teachers Mutual Bank Limited (Teachers Mutual Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, Health Professionals Bank, Hiver and UniBank)
  32. The Broken Hill Community Credit Union
  33. The Mac
  34. ubank (formerly 86400)
  35. Unity Bank Limited (Unity Bank and Reliance Bank)
  36. Warwick Credit Union

Media contact

Simone Perryman,

NPP and PayTo SAM Network webinar

NPP’s PayTo will be a new, digital way for merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts while allowing customers to see and control all recurring payments through their account. With the introduction of PayTo from mid-2022 all financial institutions that offer customer-initiated real-time payments will need to make significant changes to their back-office processes and technology in order to support receiving and actioning PayTo messages and payment initiation requests.

Ben Vivoda, Head of Client Services and Nathan Churchward, Head of Product Emerging Services, from Cuscal met virtually with members of the SAM Network to discuss this next phase of the NPP and the opportunities that PayTo will create.

Webinar: ‘SAM Network webinar: The NPP and PayTo’

Beyond real-time: the value of pre-authorised payments from bank accounts

The face of payments in Australia has changed dramatically over the last twenty to thirty years, with the pace of change set to accelerate as technological advancements revolutionise the way we make, receive and request payments.

As the most frequently requested capability for the New Payments Platform (NPP), enabling the capabilities required to support third-party payment initiation from bank accounts has been a key priority for the payments and banking industry. Known as PayTo, this service will leverage the infrastructure of the NPP to drive the next phase of growth for the Platform.

PayTo will lead the use of embedded, pre-authorised payments from bank accounts in Australia, supporting a diverse range of payment use cases. It will provide consumers and businesses greater confidence, certainty and control over account-to-account payments as they are moved seamlessly into the background.

While PayTo will be available from mid-2022, when shifts in payment technology occur you want to be at the front of the queue to gain a first mover advantage over competitors. To help payment service providers and enterprises plan for the introduction of PayTo this white paper looks at:

  • The origins of real-time payments in Australia and the future directions for the NPP;
  • The rapid uptake of payment initiation in the UK under Open Banking;
  • The value PayTo will deliver to consumers and businesses and what the user journey looks like from the end-user perspective;
  • The role different participants play in the PayTo ecosystem; and
  • What Cuscal is doing to enable the PayTo services that are required by payer banks and payment initiators.

Format: White paper
Audience: Payment service providers and enterprises that process a large volume of payments
Estimated reading time: 20 minutes

The network effect of PayID as a driver of customer engagement

In July 2020, the New Payments Platform (NPP) celebrated the registration of the 5 millionth PayID. In reaching this milestone I thought it would be interesting to look at the correlation between PayID registration and customer use and engagement. An analysis of the data we’re seeing for payments processed by Cuscal’s NPP solution tells a really positive engagement story.

Cuscal provides NPP services for 40 financial institutions that operate more than 50 banking brands. Partnering with Identified Institutions and NPP Participants our clients range in size, serve a variety of customers and are geographically distributed across Australia, offering a good representative sample of the Australian banking customer base. In fact, Cuscal processes more than 20% of all NPP payments and Cuscal’s clients have registered more than 25% of the 5 million PayIDs.

Our personal banking clients have been very successful in promoting PayID registration and Osko® to their customers, and now these banks, credit unions and their customers are benefitting from the convenience of making and receiving payments in real time.

Here are some interesting shifts that have happened between January and July 2020 in the transactions that Cuscal has processed for our personal banking clients.

Receiving payments
While the overall number of PayIDs registered is increasing, what is even more valuable are the numbers that show customers are actively sharing their PayID with others when they wish to receive money to their account and are receiving Osko payments with increasing regularity.

  • In July 2020, customers received an average of 4.6 payments to their PayID, up from 3.9 payments in January 2020.
  • 14% of customers receive at least one payment each month to their PayID.
  • PayIDs that received at least one payment increased to 173,000 (25% up on January 2020).
  • 9% of inward NPP payments are initiated using a PayID.

Looking beyond the payments that are received using a PayID, the numbers show that customers with a PayID also receive more NPP transactions generally, indicating that they are more engaged with their bank and the use of their account.

  • Customers without a PayID received an average of 3.3 NPP payments to their account a month.
  • When a customer has a PayID the average number of NPP payments received increases to 4.6 a month.
  • Since January, this represents an increase of 24% for customers with a PayID and only 9% for those without.

Making payments
Because PayID usage increases once people see how convenient it is, it’s interesting to note that customers that have a PayID also tend to make more payments overall.

  • Customers with a PayID make 4.6 payments per month from their account compared to customers without a PayID that make 3.6 payments.
  • Since January 2020, this is an increase of 24% for customers with a PayID and only 9% for those without.

Why this is important for banks
As technology continues to transform many aspects of our daily lives, and digital adoption accelerates in response to COVID-19, customers see the value in being able to manage their everyday banking needs at their fingertips. The ability to make or receive payments in real time from their accounts using the NPP with Osko and PayID are the types of services that customers now expect to find in digital banking. Banks that have actively promoted PayID and Osko services to their customers are their accounts and using their digital banking services. Ultimately this is leading to greater customer engagement and satisfaction.

By Nathan Churchward, Head of Emerging Services

Azupay PayID-powered consumer to business payments

Azupay are real-time payment specialists, delivering innovative, real-time payment solutions which leverage the New Payments Platform (NPP).

Cuscal and its team have been instrumental for Azupay to bring to market a new Consumer to Business payment method allowing consumers and merchants to be paid instantly, safely and for a fraction of the cost of credit cards or BNPL schemes – Azupay works online, in store and for bill payments.

Azupay – fairer, faster, safer

For more on how Azupay and Cuscal enabled Australia’s first and only PayID-powered digital payment solution watch our video.

The NPP is starting to realise its potential

We have been thrilled by the reaction to the recent article which broke the news about the New Payments Platform (NPP) collaboration between Cuscal and Assembly Payments. We’ve both been fielding lots of enquiries from companies keen to emulate Carsales and so we thought we’d write this article to tell you a bit more about how the collaboration works and the best way to bring the benefits of real-time payments to your customers.

We think the NPP is a fantastic opportunity for any e-commerce company that is sending large amounts of money around or just needs to move money fast. Whether this is large volumes of transactions (or just large transactions) the benefits are clear – immediate, verified payments with detailed descriptions will enhance customer experience and minimise enquiries.

What is the NPP and how do you connect?
The NPP is the new, decentralised payments infrastructure which allows participating financial institutions (including Cuscal and the RBA) to move money between each other in seconds, 24/7. To become part of the infrastructure (a ‘Participant’) is a lengthy, complex process and you are required to be an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (as it’s a regulated environment and requires access to RBA settlement facilities). However, most companies don’t need to do this. They can get the same benefits, more cheaply and easily by connecting to one of the Participants.

What levels of connection and capability are there?
The second official level of connection to the NPP is called an ‘Identified Institution’. The collaboration between Cuscal and Assembly Payments is big news because Assembly is the first company that is NOT a financial institution to be officially recognised as an Identified Institution. This means Assembly can register and create PayIDs for others and offer NPP services to its own customers, like Carsales.

Complicated? It doesn’t have to be.
While the background, and some of the terms, are a bit complicated, actually using the NPP is getting easier. Most companies will connect through APIs. The New Payments Platform has recently published its API framework which enables third parties to get a greater understanding of the platform and what it can do, using a sample API Sandbox.

Each NPP Participant will support their own APIs based on the NPP API Framework. Cuscal has already released REST APIs, which is how Assembly accesses NPP and Osko services to move money in real-time between Cuscal and other financial institutions.

Using the NPP is even quicker and easier for those companies that don’t need to become an NPP Identified Institution but want the benefits that come with NPP and Osko payments. For example, Carsales is enabled for NPP services through the Assembly platform.

Which path is right for you?
It depends on what you want to do.

  • Talk to Cuscal if you want to become an Identified Institution, like Assembly, and offer PayIDs and NPP services to your own customers. This path will suit businesses such as financial institutions and payment service providers.
  • Talk to Assembly if you would like a full suite of multi-channel payment solutions including real time NPP payments, PayIDs, underwriting, fraud and KYC services. This path will suit many online businesses, especially corporate enterprises, marketplaces and ecommerce platforms.

If you’re confused as to which path is right for you, just get in touch with either one of us and we’ll steer you in the right direction!

By Nathan Churchward, Cuscal and Simon Lee, Assembly Payments