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Real-Time Payments and The Evolution of Debit

Real-Time Payments and The Evolution of Debit

As the NACHA PAYMENTS conference kicks off next week, we connected with Sarah Grotta, Director of Debit Advisory Service with the Mercator Advisory Group about a variety of timely issues that have the payments industry buzzing. Sarah shared her thoughts on real-time payments and Same Day ACH, credit-push transactions—and when consumers will finally adopt digital wallets.

What are some of the payments trends you’d like to learn more about at the upcoming NACHA payments conference?

I am looking forward to hearing about how Same Day ACH is performing “in the wild” from people who work with it every day.  In particular, I will be interested in learning how transaction growth is growing in the most popular use cases, how fraud attempts are being managed and what some of the creative and even surprising use cases that have emerged so far.  

Our industry is constantly evolving, as evidenced by Wells Fargo’s recent announcement of a card-free ATM option; in your opinion, how close are we to ditching wallets altogether and becoming a cashless society?

I firmly believe that we will be holding on to our cards and wallets for many years, but we will execute fewer and fewer transactions on those cards as mobile and other payment form factors – some we haven’t yet considered -  become more prevalent.  Since mobile doesn’t yet offer a differentiated service from card and is far from ubiquitous today, it will take a little longer for consumers and businesses to take it seriously. Eventually the user experience and loyalty opportunities with non-card based transactions will evolve and consumers will change their current habits. 

How do you see the potential adoption of real-time payments in contrast to debit cards? Do you think it will be similar?  What education is needed about the credit transfer push model?

Real-time payments offer some very interesting opportunities and solves problems that exist with payments today.  Replacing transaction types that consumers are comfortable with and use every day will take some time to evolve.  Debit card took years to become an engrained payment type even though it was based on a familiar product, credit cards.  Consumers don’t need to necessarily understand or be educated about the specifics of credit – push transactions; they are simply looking for a straightforward user experience and a fast and secure transaction.

ACI will showcase its UP Immediate Payments solution at NACHA PAYMENTS 2017 (booth #411), April 23-26 in Austin, Texas.