Instant bank transfers using Osko in Australia

What you need to know about making payments between bank accounts in real time.

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The launch of Osko in February 2018 brought instant bank transfers to Australia for the first time. If your bank has partnered with Osko, it means you will no longer have to wait to receive and send money to other Australian bank accounts. Prior to Osko, delays of up to two days were common.

This guide will explain how these transfers work, exactly how "instant" Osko bank transfers are, how you can make them and other key details.

What is Osko?

Osko is a new service that has made bank transfers much faster and richer. Once your bank has partnered with Osko, you can make near-instant transfers from your existing bank account. No new apps are required; you can use your online banking app or site. With Osko you can also include up to 250 characters in a description of the transfer, including emojis.

How do Osko instant bank transfers work in Australia?

Instant bank transfers through Osko were made possible because of the New Payments Platform (NPP), Australia's enhanced payments infrastructure. The NPP allows smarter and faster payments, as well as allowing companies to create "overlay" services. BPAY's overlay service Osko is what makes real-time payments possible in Australia.

How do I make a real-time bank transfer with Osko?

First you need to check whether your bank offers real-time Osko payments. If it does, you can make payments in real time using your current bank account. Real-time Osko payments can be made in two ways: using a BSB and account number or by using a PayID. A PayID lets people pay you using your mobile phone number or email address rather than your BSB and account number. (Remember, your PayID doesn't replace your BSB and account number, and you don't need a PayID to make instant payments; either option will do.)

The exact process of making a payment with Osko will differ between banks, but generally you will follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your bank app or Internet banking.
  2. Navigate to pay an account and enter a PayID or BSB and account number.
  3. Follow the prompts to send money.
  4. You may see the Osko logo in the payment confirmation screen or your transaction history.

What is a PayID and how do I set one up?

Your PayID is a unique identifier you can set up with your bank to send and receive instant payments. It can be something like your mobile phone number or email address, but remember you can only create one PayID per bank account.

You can set up a PayID on your bank's app or Internet banking portal. Then you can give out your PayID to receive payments instead of your BSB and account number.

If you want to know more about PayIDs you can read our guide here.

Is there a daily limit with Osko?

There isn't a daily limit with Osko but your bank might set a daily limit. For example, your bank may include Osko payments within your daily transfer limit or set a separate limit for instant Osko transfers. Check with your bank to confirm what your limit is.

Are real-time transfers with Osko safe?

According to Osko, the payment is implemented using its own bank's security standards combined with the best industry standards and so is very secure. All real-time payments will also be subjected to fraud screening and detection capabilities by participating banks.

Are there any alternatives to Osko for instant payments?

If your bank doesn't currently offer instant transfers through Osko there are other alternatives. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Beem It. Developed by CommBank, NAB and Westpac, this app lets you instantly transfer money between any bank account. Find out more about Beem It here.
  • Splitr. This app allows you to split bills between groups, request money from friends and then track when you've received payment.
  • Finch. This social finance app allows you to pay and request money without needing to share bank account details and transfers the payment in less than five seconds.

Questions we've been asked about making instant bank transfers

Are instant bank transfers really instant?

Instant bank transfers can be made in under a minute in Australia.

I tried to make an instant bank transfer and it wasn't instant, why not?

Your bank might put a hold on your transfer if you're making it to a new PayID. This hold can last anywhere from one hour up to one day.

Do I need a PayID for instant bank transfers?

No; if your bank has partnered with Osko you can make instant bank transfers with your BSB and account number.

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