Creating the Faster Payments Tools to Combat Complexity

Kim Ford, FPC Executive Director

According to the results of our recent Faster Payments Barometer Study, 48% of organizations identify as early adopters of faster payments. While that’s a healthy number, it demonstrates we still have work to do to reach the goal of ubiquitous adoption that is our target here at the Faster Payments Council.

With industry discussions on faster payments occurring for some time, you may wonder why those numbers aren’t higher.  Our Faster Payments Barometer findings imply that perceived complexity has a lot to do with it. Almost 50% of survey respondents – respondents from across the payments industry – indicated complexity and high costs serve as deterrents to adoption of faster payments.

In some cases, lack of understanding of use cases within an organization or the resources needed to support faster payments adoption may be contributing to this feeling of complexity, and ultimately, may be holding back implementations. Thankfully, at the FPC, education is a key component of what we do. It’s our mission to help guide industry participants on their unique faster payments journeys and help demystify and simplify developments in the faster payments landscape.

It’s a primary reason we partnered with Nacha’s Payments Innovation Alliance (PIA) to launch the Faster Payments Playbook. The Playbook, which is an online educational platform, encourages adoption of faster payments by helping banks and credit unions develop and launch a faster payments strategy.

Comprised of five modules, the FI Playbook serves as a step-by-step guide that financial institutions can use to make faster payments a reality within their organizations. It simplifies the faster payments decision-making process. For example, the first module sets a foundation by outlining key faster payments terms and their definitions, providing a comparison of faster payments offerings and their attributes, and establishing an understanding of the opportunity faster payments presents.

The next module walks FIs through their internal infrastructure and capabilities and evaluates external vendor relationships and more. Module III delivers a detailed series of questions and considerations, exploring such important tasks as assembling the right team, developing an environmental assessment, and outlining a tailored strategy. Modules IV and V support implementation, including gaining necessary buy-in and determining the right tools and resources to get staff and customers up-to-speed on their chosen solution(s), supporting a successful implementation.

Building on the success of the Playbook for financial institutions, the FPC has again partnered with Nacha’s PIA to develop a version of the Playbook for business end-users and corporates. Its goal will also be to guide them through faster payments strategy development by addressing those opportunities and considerations specific to the business environment.

Additionally, the Education and Awareness Work Group is working to launch an online Faster Payments Knowledge Center in the coming months. The Knowledge Center will be a one-stop repository for the industry and include faster payments research, resources, news, and information to help drive increased understanding of all things faster payments. Our vision is that the Knowledge Center will become the go-to faster payments resource for anyone seeking more information as they consider implementation.

Because, at the end of the day, combating perceived challenges or complexities comes back to education. By providing tailored resources, we will increase understanding and clarity across the industry, and increased adoption of faster payments will follow.
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