The Path to Faster Payments – A US Perspective
With news that the Faster Payments Task Force released its final findings today and set the deadline for our country’s new payment system to be live by the year 2020, a mere 29 months away, it leaves many in the industry getting ready to roll up our sleeves because it is going to be an all-hands-on-deck 29 months.
Looking at the final paper, a few things jumped out at me, the first is the conversation around Ubiquity. As noted by both the panel presenting today and in the paper itself, Ubiquity is an often thrown about word, but when you are talking about money movement, Ubiquity is really a utopian objective vs reality. The real need is to have a ubiquitous experience, which feels like the point the task force arrived at by not choosing a single solution, but rather giving the various market options the chance to rise to the top.
Looking at how the market has evolved, even since this task force was formed in 2013, the need for guidance and an update to our national system has become apparent. The sentiment that consumers enter an opaque process when making payments is hard to argue. When other consumer-based processes have been vastly improved by technology, payments has been stuck in a paper-based world; however, this task force shows that we are finally in the once-in-a-generation moment to create the ecosystem that will drive us into the new financial reality. The consumer expectations have risen dramatically and they will continue to expect more.
As noted in the task force’s panel, success will likely be when we don’t think about using faster payments; it will just become “the way you do things;” we’ll certainly get there and look forward to the challenge ahead.
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