Video Series: Real-time Payments Aftermath—Product Management for the Future of Real-time


February 17, 2020



This video blog series covers the product management aspects of real-time payments. Throughout this series, we’ll provide answers to frequently asked questions surrounding architectural considerations for RTP, such as managing the product(s) long term, dealing with cannibalizing current products, maintaining competitive advantages as more institutions launch RTP, and more.

Also see our real-time payments strategy and decision making, RTP product and design, and RTP architecture vlog series.

Episode 1: How to Effectively Manage a Product Roadmap

Episode 1 Transcription

Kara Ford: The first step is to create a product roadmap based on your customer’s needs. To do that, there are several things you’ll need to do and understand to build out an effective roadmap. First, you want to understand how your customers use your products today. How do they interact daily, weekly, or monthly with your banking application? And next you should identify what channels do they interact with the most.

The next thing you’ll want to determine is which areas your customers are looking for improvement. To help you figure this out, you can ask them what is their current pain point and would RTP help them solve that. If there is no major pain point per se and they’re okay with doing what they do and how they do it, what desire would RTP satisfy?

Is your financial institution ready for real-time payments? Find out with our 2020 Real-time Payments Readiness Report.

Do they need a faster payment method? And finally, you’ll want to confirm that these are both verified and valid pain points. So real pain points are critical for you to ensure that people will engage with your new design solution for something that you may assume might be a pain point within your product team or maybe that your technology team has identified. After identifying the verified and valued pain points, you’ll want to assess your customer’s ability or willingness to change their behavior.

So how will your customers use RTP? Can you journey-map the pain points with the select customer and have them replace the previous payment method willingly with RTP? And secondly, to measure success, you’ll want to identify what emotions and feelings that you expect the RTP product that you designed to have and see if that truly is elicited with the same feelings that the actual user is feeling when completing that transaction.

Use our 2019 RTP Implementation Checklist to help guide your decisions and ensure you are on the right track.

And this will help your user create an identity with the product and with your bank. So once you’ve identified and verified your pain points, you’ll be able to build or develop out your desired product roadmap based on first the ease of behavior change that your customers would be able or be willing to make. And then you can add in the impact of the customer satisfaction or the delighting factor.

Once you build out your ideal product roadmap, you’ll then want to engage with your technology partners to determine technology constraints and the impact on your desired roadmap. By doing this, you’ll be able to assess gaps and hurdles that you’ll need to address and overcome in order to effectively create a real solidified RTP product that delights your customers and creates a revenue stream for your institution.

Episode 2: Understand and Apply RTP Capabilities to Each Market Segment’s Roadmap

Episode 2 Transcription

Chris Rigoni: In order to understand the capabilities that RTP enables and then apply them to the market segment roadmap, ideally, you’ve already done an ideation workshop, and this is where you’re going to use design thinking to determine what problems do your customers have. And even above and beyond that, operationally, what efficiencies can you create? Then you can look at RTP and see how that can provide a solution to each of those.

The first step to putting together a launch roadmap for RTP is going to look at project cost. So what’s the most cost-effective way to start RTP? Receive is normally seen as the best place to start, so you can then deliver, receive across the solutions you’ve identified that may only require receive functionality. After you’ve done that you can move on to send, which is again the next cost-effective measure and way to implement RTP.

Is your financial institution ready for real-time payments? Find out with our 2020 Real-time Payments Readiness Report.

And then again, you look at those solutions you identified in the ideation workshop and deliver that same functionality across those and even those that require send and receive. Finally, you can move on to request for payment, which will round out your capabilities. So for your channels, whether that’s small business banking portals, corporate channels, or reporting, be sure to understand the simplest form of the RTP capability to find the best fit within that product roadmap.

There’s going to be enhancements that you want to add generally, but you don’t have to add those all at once. Focus on getting the capability launched and then you can look to add enhancements as you further develop the product. And then as use of RTP increases, you’ll likely see your clients requesting to use it or even using it in ways that you hadn’t really imagined. The most important aspect in all of this is to deliver the solutions you identified in the ideation.

Use our 2019 RTP Implementation Checklist to help guide your decisions and ensure you are on the right track.

Pacing your delivery by starting with receive, moving to send, and then ending with request for payment, that’s going to allow you to align across your organization during each implementation. It’ll also create manageable initiatives for each capability. Finally, for future management of RTP as a product, you need to focus on enhancing those core capabilities with areas of customer delight. Where might an RTP capability further enhance the customer experience or maybe give them an unexpected perk of banking with your organization.

Episode 3: What to Do When RTP Cannabalizes Your Current Products

Episode 3 Transcription

Kara Ford: Inevitably, RTP will cannibalize a marginal amount of ACH and wire volume, but this should not be a major consideration when you’re figuring out your adoption of RTP. There is still a need for maintaining and offering both ACH and wire as well as cash and checks as a financial institution. First, we’re going to take a look at wires.

So today wires allow you to complete high-dollar, high-value transactions, and you can also transact on international wires with limited friction. Another note to consider is that your client’s internal systems and processes have been developed and coded for a wire transfer and not for real-time payment at this time.

So the updating of the internal processes and procedures will take time and money on your client’s behalf, and due to that, the client shift will be limited to their technology updates. When we take a look at ACH payments, the cost to initiate and process an ACH payment is still very cheap and extremely familiar to your customers.

Use our 2019 RTP Implementation Checklist to help guide your decisions and ensure you are on the right track.

They have built years of internal processes and procedures around ACH payments, and the timeliness may not be an issue for those everyday batch jobs that they’re used to processing. Therefore, your customers feel like they might not need to look beyond ACH as a solution to find an alternative method like RTP to satisfy their needs. The second important factor here is that ACH allows your customers to do debit pools which as we know cannot occur on the RTP rails as it is a credit push only network.

The third piece we want to look at here is the opportunity with cash and check. So the opportunity for cannibalization is at the highest but could also be the biggest potential cost saving for your financial institution. As you know, it is extremely expensive to process and handle cash and checks.

When you start thinking about things like the cost of providing free checks for your customers when they open accounts, the cost of maintaining ATM networks or the relationships when you’re forecasting the money needed in each ATM, to the security needed to transport the money.

Is your financial institution ready for real-time payments? Find out with our 2020 Real-time Payments Readiness Report.

When you think about the shift of moving your customers from using those cash and check options into RTP, you’re able to better automate your solutions with the RTP network rather than having to manually handle and process those cash and checks as an institution.

Overall, we do not feel like there should be any concern for a major cannibalization of your existing products. When comparing other countries, customers certainly made minor shifts in the volumes of wire and ACH transactions, but RTP should be considered a very complimentary product to your payments offering.

Our 2021 Real-Time Payments Market Insight Report is here

Levvel Research's 2021 Real-Time Payments Report (RTP) provides a guide to the many use cases of RTP for businesses and outlines the ROI of adoption for financial management processes, product delivery, and customer satisfaction.

Episode 4: How to Stay Ahead as More Financial Institutions Launch RTP

Episode 4 Transcription

Chris Rigoni: That’ll allow you to gain insight on where they know they want RTP functionality as well as innovative ways you could even come up with to go above and beyond what they expect.

So as more institutions enable RTP, staying ahead is all about customer experience and delight. Customer service feedback, customer surveys, and usability conversations should feed friction points, which could be candidates for RTP as a solution. Continue to look at more ways you can integrate RTP capabilities not only to customer-facing channels but also operationally, and they could potentially deliver cost savings over manual or outdated processes you have today.

Use our 2019 RTP Implementation Checklist to help guide your decisions and ensure you are on the right track.

What additional capabilities were left out of your initial implementation? Could mobile or maybe direct transmission file transformation or even EDI be candidates to further integrate RTP capabilities and provide customer delight where you don’t have it today? As I said before, you should be actively seeking continuous feedback from your clients using your product. That’ll allow you to gain insight on where they know they want RTP functionality as well as innovative ways you can even come up with to go above and beyond what they expect.

Finally, have you addressed the verified pain points? For example, in your original implementation of those capabilities for RTP, did you create points of friction that weren’t there before? That may be due to a time constraint, a technology limitation, or even a temporary business decision. You’ll now need to go back and enhance or develop those areas to resolve those issues. Managing RTP as a product will be a continuous cycle, and information from your users is vital.

Episode 5: How to Keep Others in the Organization Engaged After Launch

Episode 5 Transcription

Kara Ford: There are plenty of opportunities that are being realized that can provide your institution with cost savings.

To keep others in your organization after launch engaged, it is very important that you create an active and selective client user group. Real life client engagement will provide you and your team with verified and valued pain points and enhancements to quantify your roadmap needs.

Another area for you to look at is the internal use cases. There are plenty of opportunities that are being realized that can provide your institution with cost savings. If you have not done a detailed analysis of the internal processing impacts with teams within your organization, you should work with your organization to identify those internal operational processes and procedures that could potentially decrease your operating costs by using RTP versus another payment method like a certified check.

Lastly, the RTP network is an evolving rail at this time. The realized value of being able to effectively transact real time payments is still being considered to be in its infancy stages. There will certainly be a need for evolving products, offerings, and technology upgrades in order to meet the network changes, what your client demands over time and the future of real-time payments here in the United States.

The potential to influence what real time can offer for your customers, our economy, and the payments landscape should 100% be enough excitement to keep your organization ready to do more.

See more from our Financial Services team:

Authored By

Chris Rigoni

Senior Financial Services Consultant

Kara Ford

Senior Financial Services Consultant


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Meet our Experts

Chris Rigoni
Senior Financial Services Consultant

Chris is a Senior Financial Services Consultant who works across a variety of companies and industries to create strategic payments advantages. He has over eight years of experience in managing emerging payments and digital platforms and served as a subject matter expert in tokenization, digital product management, real-time payments, Zelle, and open banking. Chris spent five years at BBVA Compass, most recently leading business-efforts in the launch of Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as well as managing their mobile wallet offering. The last three years have focused on tokenization, Zelle, and real-time payments strategies within organizations of different sizes and needs. He currently resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife and three children.

Kara Ford
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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