Let’s just say it: Faster is better. And better still, 2015 may be the year for real-time payments. According to The Fed, 69 percent of consumers and 75 percent of business payees already want accelerated payments. Intuitively, those numbers seem conservative. Given a choice, who wouldn’t want their payments to post instantly?
Beyond the obvious consumer demand, though, there are market forces driving fast adoption of real-time payments.
- The Fed is looking to speed up the ACH process. Though the Fed is admittedly not known for rapid technology rollout, it is exploring the feasibility of a faster payments system. When and if this materializes, look for expectations to accelerate across the board.
- Mobile payments are gaining traction. Though new products like Apple Pay speak to user experience more than fast payment settlement, the adoption of mobile payments is going to create an expectation of speed. Consumers don’t wait three days for a Tweet to post: They aren’t going want to wait three days for their payments to settle.
- Real-time options are hitting the market. Look for a growing number of real-time options in 2015, including CO-OP’s new person-to-person payments network called RealPay by CO-OP, due out later this quarter.
For credit unions, the real speed challenge is implementation. Faster payments are possible – or at least soon to be possible. How do you get them up and running while the opportunity is hot?
Integration is key. If you want to get on board in 2015, you need an option that works with your existing infrastructure – and won’t create a Fed-style delay while you sort out the working pieces. Credit unions should also consider the value of “owning” transactions. Disruptive tech companies and anti-interchange merchants are bound to promote solutions that benefit themselves.