Digital technology has created a world that runs and relies on efficiency; however, the payments industry is still lagging behind. There is an increasing demand for real-time payment systems from both businesses and consumers, and banks are starting to feel the pressure.
Instant payment systems are still in their infancy and have only been implemented in a handful of countries, such as the United Kingdom, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore and Australia. According to Bank Tech, the United States is soon to follow and more than 20 countries are expected to make changes within the next 10 years.
The Benefits Of Real-Time Payments
Real-time payment systems increase the overall functionality of money and could provide numerous benefits for businesses. For example, instant weekly and daily wages can increase employee job satisfaction; the risk of a late payment penalties is significantly reduced (possibly even eliminated); and accounts remain up-to-date at all times.
As for receiving payments from customers, real-time systems can reduce the level of dropouts that occur during processing times, which could boost revenue, especially with online business models that provide cancellation options. In addition, if a customer wants a refund, processing the transaction immediately will increase overall satisfaction.
In terms of the economy, real-time payments will encourage economic growth by providing the opportunity for businesses and consumers to make more purchases within a short amount of time. This increases the overall productivity of money.
Preparing For Real-Time Payments
According to a survey conducted by VocaLink, 35% of participants stated that they would use an instant payment solution if it were available; and 63% stated that they would trust systems that are offered by banks. As banks strive to keep up with mobile technology and integrate mobile payment systems – such as Paym – into their infrastructure, more consumers are using digital payment methods. This could make real-time mobile payments the standard in just a few years.
The transition from old payment systems to new efficient payment systems may not come cheap for businesses, as they may have to purchase new hardware in order to process transactions. However, over time the positive effects of real-time payments could recoup potential losses as it will open doors to more consumers.
It’s hard to deny the benefits of real-time payment systems. Judging by consumer demand; the significant rise in digital payment options; and the development of real-time technology, it’s certainly a good idea for businesses to start preparing for change.
Current projections state that real-time payment systems will become a worldwide standard by 2018. Financial institutions are already preparing for such eventualities by developing and offering online and mobile banking applications on mobile devices.
New solutions – such as the upcoming Zapp – is slowing phasing out the need for cash and debit cards by allowing consumers to make instant payments (within a 12 second average) with a mobile device. Due to tightening security measures and the significant reduction in fraud, more consumers are beginning to acknowledge the advantages of mobile payments. Businesses unprepared for these future changes could find themselves significantly disadvantaged when they become a widespread standard.