Digital $A coming soon, despite tech fails

Last week the RBA’s systems failed leaving thousands of Australians without fast personal payments. The New Payments Platform powers OSKO real time payments that are used by many Aussies to send money to other people via their phone number or email address.

The Reserve Bank said in a statement that an error occurred during a planned change to the software that manages the Reserve Bank’s virtual servers, which disrupted a number of production servers.

“As a result, the Reserve Bank Information & Transfer System (RITS) was unable to send or receive LVCS or LVSS files between 19:01 on 12 October and 00:34 on 13 October.

“The settlement notifications that are normally sent to New Payments Platform participants by the FSS immediately following settlement of those transactions were either delayed or not sent between 19:21 and 23:47.

All services were restored later that same evening and the backlog of payments cleared within a day.

Michele Bullock, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, said, ‘We sincerely apologise to industry participants and customers for the inconvenience and disruption caused. It was disappointing that this occurred and we recognise the impact this would have on people relying on the payments system.

“I want to assure people that the Bank takes the stability of the payments infrastructure very seriously and will double its effort to ensure this does not happen again.’

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia is collaborating with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) to research the viability of a central bank digital currency for Australia.

A trial of an online currency was announced via media release on 9 August.

The project has been progressed and the DFCRC, with the RBA, have released a White Paper ‘Australian CBDC Pilot for Digital Finance Innovation’, that explains the project in more detail.

CashWelcome.org, an industry backed grass roots campaign supporting our right to choose cash as a payment method, has collected about 12,000 responses to a survey about the RBA’s plans for an online digital dollar.

You can complete the easy survey here.

So far 99 per cent of respondents want the government to guarantee the future of physical cash even if the RBA introduces an online digital currency.

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