March 18, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Now that 2020 has arrived, the reality of the adoption of real-time payments has begun to outpace the strategic planning for implementation. The conversation around real-time payments is no longer around should we implement, but rather are there more use cases that we’ve been missing to better serve our customers with real-time payments? From our 2020 RTP report, we’ve learned that transforming your institution to be ready for adoption doesn’t require a full modernization, but rather a thoughtfully designed organization with technology, people, and processes that are strategically aligned to support a more robust payment offering.
Unlike the first wave of adopters, the next wave and future adopters are finding ways to make strategic decisions on where to compete in the real-time payment space. Prior to launching, they are deeply analyzing what products and services to offer their customers and how to design their growth models to meet customers’ appetite for faster payments and compete with the fintech services that are already in the market. We have found that this is no longer the time to ask should we adopt real-time payments, but rather how can we adopt real-time payments to effectively compete with incumbents and fintech players?
Many institutions went into The Clearing House’s RTP implementation with the thought that faster payments would require a full rip and replace of legacy infrastructure. In reality, we know that this is not feasible for many institutions, especially credit unions and community banks. But, as the second and third wave of adopters begins to mobilize their faster payment strategy, they are using APIs to bridge the gap between legacy infrastructure and the modern payment and fraud systems needed for RTP. This allows them to quickly implement the solutions needed for RTP without the cost and time needed to do a full-scale greenfield project.
In 2020, both new and incumbent players to faster payments and the digital experience are launching new products and services to attract not only the savvy customers to their platform but also customers with a gap in their current offering and need to find a better solution. To attract these customers, institutions need to have a talent plan where they are attracting employees who can envision strategic offerings, challenge the status quo, and lead institutions into an uncomfortable zone. This will help push forward to a new way of thinking about product offerings, the speed to get products to market, and a new lens in which the institution is looking at its services.
As the technology to support real-time payments and the market availability of products is rapidly developing, the need for an institution’s internal processes to align is now more prevalent. It is important for institutions to design or reorganize their governance, budgeting, and infrastructure strategies around a simplified and streamlined process. Without also adjusting the internal processes, innovative payment teams get lost in the pipeline of outdated processes and procedures. Often, by the time they are able to see themselves out with the appropriate approvals, their innovative payment designs are no longer innovative, and the time to implement the technology will push them even further behind.
Now that we are here in 2020, the momentum for real-time payments has shifted. The need has been realized, and the opportunity cost far outweighs the cost of implementation. With thoughtfully designed organizations and clear value-added payment strategies, second and third wave adopters are entering the market ready to compete.
Senior Financial Services Consultant
Kara Ford is a Senior Financial Services Consultant who works with financial institutions, merchants and enterprises of all sizes to help them identify and implement their payment strategies. She comes to Levvel with 7+ years of experience in banking as a payments professional with deep knowledge in financial services offerings for commercial and retail customers. She has focused the last three years on P2P and Real-time payments with a focus on product strategy, architecture, and implementation of the services for customers.
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