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Real-Time Payments in Italy: Now is the Time to Act

Italy is the second biggest market in Europe when it comes to credit transfers (after Germany). And Italian consumers are hungry for new and innovative banking services. Our own research reveals the extent to which the disruption in the global banking sector is impacting the country: Almost half of Italian consumers are planning to switch banks in the next 12 months as they search for better and more innovative services, with real-time banking high on their wish lists, a recent global survey by ACI Worldwide and YouGov of more than 9,000 consumers has revealed. Of those who want to switch, 21 percent said they were considering opening accounts with a mobile-only bank provider, 20 percent with another high-street bank and 5 percent said they wanted to join a retailer bank.

Of course, talking about innovation in banking today is not possible without talking about real-time payments. Real-time payments need to be at the core of an open banking strategy.

ACI is delighted to announce a partnership with Dedagroup, which will help bring real-time payments and more innovative banking services to Italian consumers.

Dedagroup and ACI Worldwide: The Benefits

The new partnership positions ACI uniquely in the Italian market. As one of the largest Italian IT companies, Dedagroup runs core payments systems for more than 20 of the largest banks in Italy. ACI, through its Universal Payments (UP) solutions portfolio, including UP Immediate Payments and UP Real-Time Payments, enables PSPs and banks to connect to any domestic or pan-European EPC-based instant payments scheme.

As financial institutions in Italy scrutinize their options and try to decide which real-time scheme to join, this relationship will act as a platform to help banks to realize the full potential of immediate payments. Having worked as Head of Payments Systems and International Business Applications for a large Italian bank for more than a decade, I know how complex the integration of a new system into the bank’s traditional infrastructure can be.

Working jointly with Dedagroup which has a strong foothold in the Italian market, means the complex onboarding and integration process will be much quicker and more cost-efficient. ACI will provide customers not only with a technical gateway, but also payment processing functionality, guidance on compliance, fraud, scheme rules, testing and certification, as well as support throughout the complex on-boarding process.

Considering some of the controversies and confusion around real-time payments, I believe that a bank that decides to wait could potentially make a big mistake. I think that once banks start to look at the business case and understand that real-time payments are not just an investment into new IT but crucial to survive and compete in the new era of digital banking, things fall into place. Banks across Europe are beginning to understand that customers want these new services, and they have started to feel the pressure from their competitors.

Domenico Scaffidi will discuss the future of Instant Payments in Europe in a panel discussion on Thursday, November 23, at the Salone dei Pagamenti, alongside Javier Santamaria, President of the EPC, Hays Littlejohn, CEO EBA Clearing and Rita Camporeale, Head of Payment Market Infrastructure at the Italian Banking Association

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.