Cash: The Essential Ingredient for a Resilient Payment System - November 20, 2023
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Cash: The Essential Ingredient for a Resilient Payment System

Monday, November 20, 2023

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by Sandra Smith

The mass outage caused by the failure of the Optus network earlier this month underscored the importance of maintaining cash in the payment system. With over 10 million customers affected by the network failure and hundreds of thousands of businesses unable to accept cashless payment methods, the cost of relying on a cashless economy cannot be understated. Businesses were forced to close entirely due to the outage, while others reported 80% downturns in business during the outage. This is another timely reminder that cash is the most important element of our payment system. Only cash can provide a secure, reliable, and universally accepted payment method 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Ongoing power outages remain a worldwide issue. In other breaking regional news, a major online banking and payment services outage in Singapore has shown that the threats posed by the move to a cashless society are global. There is an undeniable cost to the payment system's reliability and security, which makes us all more vulnerable. To read more, click here.

The importance of strong collaboration on security threats in the ATM industry has recently been demonstrated through the Australian Federal Police’s disruption of a Romanian Crime Syndicate’s attempt to install skimming devices on ATMs. In August this year, five foreign nationals accused of flying to Australia to install ATM card skimmers to steal money and create fake bank cards were charged in Sydney and Brisbane. The alleged international crime syndicate is allegedly linked to Romanian nationals charged by the United States Secret Service in May ’23. To read more, click here.

In response to this emerging threat, I met with representatives from the Australian Federal Police last month to discuss how the industry can work with law enforcement authorities. As a result of this meeting, the AFP has joined the ATM Security Association to make the most of information-sharing and cooperation opportunities, and we look forward to sharing further information on this with you in due course.

We invite all members to join our final Strategic Direction teleconference for 2023, scheduled for December 6th at 4 pm AEST.

Our past forums held this year have addressed numerous issues, including:

  • ATMIA provides regular updates on both domestic and international markets. These updates are continuous and aim to keep you informed about the latest developments in the industry.
  • An insight into the Senate inquiry into regional bank closure in remote areas.
  • Updates from Clubs NSW- Cashless Gaming Trials. 
  • The RBA sharing results from the Consumer Payment Survey.
  • Australian Payment Network- Advance Encryption Standard.

We collaborate through this forum to share ideas and work together to solve the industry's issues.

If anyone would like us to resend the agenda, please don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected].

Finally, we recommend you take some time to review our e-news as we recap the advantages of being an ATMIA member through our Education, Advocacy, Connections, Newsletters, and Events.

On behalf of the ATMIA team, thank you to our members for your ongoing support.

Cheers,
Sandra


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