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Eftpos, BPAY and NPP seek ACCC clearance to coordinate, collaborate

Shareholders and members of three of Australia’s biggest payments groups want the ACCC’s approval to amalgamate their operations in order to speed up their ability to innovate in the payments space, and foster collaboration and coordination.

Eftpos, BPAY and the New Payments Platform are hoping to create a new, unified parent company called NewCo, which will have its own board that all three businesses will sit under and be governed by.

Each business will continue to exist separately, but will be able to share information and collaborate with one another based on the directions and resources of the new parent company.

A proposal has been submitted to the ACCC which is likely to go through a period of consultation, and will be announced in the next few days.

Eftpos chief executive Stephen Benton said the amalgamation will preserve and strengthen its business, while BPAY boss John Banfield said it would “improve sequencing of investments and prioritisation of innovations”.

A key driver of the proposal is increasing competition from international payment players – with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay called out as key competitors, due to their large install bases, deep relationship with customers, and their ability to cause “major disruption in Australian payments markets”.

The move could also remove inefficiencies in each individual business, and will “likely” give rise to net benefits for the Australian public, as well as provide a stronger, home-grown alternative to international players.

“The ‘splintering’, confusion and ‘wait and see’ approaches that characterises investment decisions has meant new Australian payment services have not achieved high adoption rates, have been inefficiently delayed or abandoned,” the application reads.

“The [Amalgamation] will provide the necessary leadership to allow participants in Australia’s payments industry to co-ordinate their focus on an agreed roadmap of innovation.”

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