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Survey Says…. Real-Time ACH Within 1-2 Years

Overwhelmingly, 70% of payments professionals believe that “Real-Time” ACH will be a reality in the next 1 to 2 years.


70% of payments professionals believe that “Real-Time” ACH will be a reality in the next 1 to 2 years.

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In total, we received a great industry sample of 120 responses over the course of 2 days, from bank personnel to corporate practitioners to financial technology providers. The key takeaway, as previously noted, was the overwhelming belief that Real Time ACH will become a reality in the very near future. Our 70% number balloons to 90% when you include the folks who answered the question within in the next five years! This is a far cry from what the Fed has publicly gone on record with saying–that the industry will get there within 10 years. So whether our industry is full of optimists or realists, there is quite a gap between what our government and regulators believe will be the case and what the industry sees as a must (getting to real-time and quickly). 

Another topic that generated lively discussions about was mobile payments. You can’t go anywhere without hearing some news about mobile payments and we asked folks whether or not they had initiated a payment via a mobile device. Surprisingly 1 out of every 4 folks with whom we spoke had not initiated a payment with their mobile device. Mobile has been a central focus for most bank strategies in the past few years and mobile payments is 100% a part of that discussion, hence the surprise by the 25% figure. Not surprisingly, of the 75% who have tried it, they’ve done so with the Starbucks QR code app, so we have a ways to go on the mobile payments front before we can really start talking about mass adoption outside of our industry.

It was great to talk to so many engaged folks at the show and I can’t wait to do our next installment of this survey–it will be interesting to see how much we will have moved the mobile needle (expanding from primarily coffee purchases) and to see if the Fed has accelerated its Real Time ACH timeline. Until then, I encourage you all to give a mobile payment a try; you’d be surprised at how easy and efficient (and in some cases rewarding) it truly can be!


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.