Reed Luhtanen, Executive Director, FPC
Recently, the FPC shared with members the detailed findings from our latest resource, the Business End-User Satisfaction with Faster Payments Momentum Report, a qualitative follow-up to some of the findings in the 2021 Faster Payments Barometer. On the heels of National Small Business Month, it seemed like an ideal time to share high-level takeaways and encouraging outcomes from the research, as these insights can be valuable to not only FPC members, but the greater industry as well.
First, the report found that business end-users want interoperability. This is no big surprise. The results of the 2021 Faster Payments Barometer showed that almost half of businesses found the lack of ubiquity/interoperability as its top challenge. Additionally, 96 percent of the broader industry believe interoperability is somewhat to very important, up from 92 percent in 2020. Again, although not surprising, this recurring theme is significant, as it creates a real barrier to faster payments adoption, not only for businesses, but the larger ecosystem as well. While interoperability is the ultimate prize, businesses believe an interim solution could be the use of more intelligent routing, where a payment is processed based on the desired attributes, regardless of rail. The encouraging outcome: This demonstrates that the FPC’s focus on interoperability to date is spot on and continued work in this area will be key to advancing faster payments adoption.
Secondly, the report revealed business end-users want more from their financial institutions and providers, echoing what we heard in the 2021 Faster Payments Barometer. Fifty-four percent of businesses said a lack of provider support presented challenges for them, and more than 40 percent cited high initial costs and implementation complexity as issues. While most banks and technology providers offer faster payments options, not enough of them do according to businesses. Businesses would like to see their providers offer more faster payments options, and provide tools and technology to help bridge legacy systems with the new technology. The encouraging outcome: This validates our work to develop the Faster Payments Solutions Provider Catalogue - a resource of faster payments solutions, products, and services provided by our members - and reinforces the plan for continual updates.
Lastly, the report concluded that business end-users want more education. Not only do they want education for themselves, but they believe broad-scale education, from financial institutions to consumers, is key to supporting and growing faster payments adoption. Businesses would love to see guidance documents from their banks and providers, targeted education for merchants, and awareness campaigns for consumers, so that all parties in the ecosystem can make more informed decisions about their payments. The encouraging outcome: This confirms the FPC’s mission as an organization for faster payments education. Our Faster Payments Knowledge Center, full of key industry resources on faster payments, is an excellent beginning, and we’re continuing to add to this center and introduce new education initiatives.
The Business End-User Satisfaction with Faster Payments Momentum Report was telling, and it was also re-affirming. As an organization, we’ve been tackling the right industry issues to support advancement of faster payments. And it’s what we’ll continue to do as faster payments continue to grow and evolve.
But to be even more impactful, we need more diverse voices and the commitment and dedication of additional industry participants. Varied, informed, and authentic input will help ensure we further the conversation on topics like these, and identify the emerging topics that we’ll need to address to continually evolve with the developing faster payments landscape. To add your voice, consider joining the FPC by visiting: fasterpaymentscouncil.org/Why-Join-the-FPC.