Payments Execs Weigh In On Innovation For The Roaring 2020s
June 26, 2019
Need For Speed: Faster Payments Driving Consumer Expectations
To quote from the movie “Top Gun” — or borrow the title of a popular ‘90s video game — one of the most important drivers of payments innovation has been a “Need for Speed.” Namely, a need for internet and mobile connectivity speed.
Over the past decade, average broadband connections in the U.S. have quickly accelerated from slow DSL modems to cable and now to satellite or fiber optic systems. This has translated into an average connection speed of 26 Mbps in the U.S. in 2018.
Similar growth in connectivity speed is happening on a global stage, too, with average speeds rising 23 percent in 2018 to 9.1 Mbps. And the emergence of 5G technology promises leaps in mobile connectivity, too, up from already lightning-fast connections for most customers.
These incredible speeds have conditioned customers to expect nearly everything instantly. From reading the daily news to watching the latest Netflix series to tracking our Uber Eats delivery, we are trained to operate in real time.
It was inevitable that those expectations transitioned to the payment ecosystem. Money movement has always lagged with outdated payment instruments like paper checks and ACH, requiring days for funds to arrive and fully settle.
But no one paid attention until life began moving at web speed. Over the last decade, it became painfully obvious just how slow our money traveled.
A number of countries around the world have begun efforts at the national or regulatory level to close those gaps in speed. Private enterprise has done its part as well. Regions like Asia Pacific are leading the way, with countries like the U.K. and others close behind.
Here in the U.S., despite peer-to-peer payment systems that have sped up personal payments, we remain a number of years away from institutional real-time money movement. However, innovators have stepped in with novel solutions like push payments that make real-time corporate disbursements possible.
These push payment systems operate on existing card networks and mobile wallets, just in reverse. They make it possible today to direct money to nearly any financial account, and to issue payment of guaranteed funds 24/7 to consumers — even on weekends and holidays. This is far superior to either paper check or ACH, and consumers have the convenience, certainty and choice of these payments.
This move to real-time money will continue to expand globally, informed and driven by consumer expectations of speed and instant gratification. Those companies that get on board early have a chance to stand out from the crowd and earn a competitive advantage.
CEO at Ingo Money
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What hurdles are keeping more consumers from using P2P payments, and how can they be addressed?
Providing one network to streamline transactions — ranging from simple to complex — is no easy task.
Although payments in the tens of thousands or even millions tend to characterize business payments, the reality is that many payments made by global buyers to their suppliers are anything but that.
Challenger banks, Ingo Money CEO Drew Edwards said, have done a great job of appealing to a younger, digital-first, digital-only consumer.
Enabling merchants to accept payments is a straightforward process that offers the customer many options for how they want to get the transaction done.
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One of the overriding business themes of the pandemic has been the accelerated pace of digital transformation. Many executives across multiple industries have speculated they were able to pack 10 years’ worth of digital innovation into one year because of customer and employee demands.
Delivering on the need and desire for faster money means that payors provide an experience that looks more like eCommerce — one that is immediate, seamless and offers choice in how to get paid.