Australia’s national debit operator eftpos joins Hedera Governing Council

The addition of eftpos represents the first Australian member to join the most decentralized governance model for a public ledger, that will eventually include a total of 39 highly diversified enterprises and organizations reflecting several distinct industries and geographies...

The Australian payments company, eftpos, which operates Australia’s national debit card processing infrastructure and mobile payments app Beem It, today announced it has joined the Hedera Governing Council and will run the country’s first Hedera network node this year.

Designed to be the most decentralized governance model for a public ledger, the Hedera Governing Council includes a group of highly diversified enterprises and organizations overseeing a global network of nodes that aims, among other things, to enable low-cost micropayments for a range of use cases such as the Internet of Things (IOT) and access to content streamed over the internet.

eftpos CEO, Stephen Benton, said eftpos joined the Council after a number of successful proofs of concept last year, and it aimed to enhance the company’s digital payments innovation strategy to better meet Australians’ payment needs into the future.

“By joining the Hedera Governing Council and running the Australian node, alongside some of the world’s largest and most influential companies, we are excited to participate in the development of next-generation micropayments technology that has the potential to open up entirely new ways of conducting business for Australian enterprises and enable compelling new experiences for Australian consumers.

“For example, in a world of fast-paced technology change, low-cost micropayments to pay for internet content or tiny payments for device to device transactions.”

The eftpos digital strategy was devised with an Australian focus, creating world-class innovations to compete with global payments players. The digital strategy has five key elements:

  1. Mobile Wallets including Beem It
  2. eCommerce
  3. Digital identity, using connectID
  4. Fintech ecosystem access
  5. National QR code payments rollout

The initial objective of the micropayments proof of concepts, led by eftpos Entrepreneur in Residence, Rob Allen, was to investigate ways to create a seamless, sub-cent micropayments experience as an alternative to traditional online paywalls and subscriptions in the digital world.

“By combining the new eftpos API infrastructure with a consumer wallet-based experience, digital identity, and an AUD-based stablecoin using Hedera’s super-fast, secure, and low-cost distributed network, the PoC’s objective was demonstrably achieved,” Mr. Allen said. “Use cases like this simply are not possible on other public blockchains. Along with several partners, we are now exploring a variety of use cases that this combination of technologies enables and the options to commercialize them.

“Being on the Hedera Governing Council will provide us with the combined technical insight of all the Council members as well as a unique global perspective to improve our speed to market.”

Mance Harmon, CEO, and co-founder of Hedera Hashgraph, said, “As Australia’s debit card system operator, eftpos is a critical component of the country’s financial infrastructure, processing over 2 billion transactions in 2020 worth an average of more than $300 million each day. We are pleased that they have joined the Hedera Governing Council as part of their new Australia-first digital product strategy. We look forward to their collaboration with other Council members and participants of the Hedera ecosystem to help make micropayments and other innovative financial models a reality for millions of consumers and billions of IOT devices.”

As the 17th Council member, eftpos joins a growing network of large enterprises, including Avery Dennison, Boeing, Dentons, Deutsche Telekom, DLA Piper, FIS (WorldPay), Google, IBM, LG Electronics, Magalu, Nomura, Swirlds, Tata Communications, University College London (UCL), Wipro, and Zain Group.

Members of the Hedera Governing Council are responsible for running the initial nodes of the Hedera network, as well as guiding both strategy and software development, over a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. This contributes to stability and is conducive to maintaining diversity and decentralization of the public network. Hedera Hashgraph’s node policy and codebase are undergoing continuous updates, to which Council members will contribute, supporting a governance model that eliminates the risk of forks, provides safeguards for users, and preserves the integrity of the Hedera network.

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