Will Request To Pay displace card payments in the future?

The potential is there, but tech roadblocks prevent wider adoption in the industry.

Over eight in ten (87%) financial industry stakeholders believe that Request to Pay (RTP or R2P) is a good alternative to direct debit, according to a survey by payments solutions provider, Icon Solutions.

RTP is a payment service wherein a payee can initiate a request for a specific payment from another person, done via digital app or through any mobile device.

Icon Solutions surveyed 50 industry stakeholders globally, of which 77% expressed their belief that RTP services will also chip away on merchants’ dependency on card payments.

Another 73% of respondents said that they see the most demand for the service from large corporations. As a result, respondents shared that they are planning to leverage RTP to diversify product roadmaps. 

Invoicing, payments reconciliation, and the digitalisation and integration of processes and systems identified as the leading emerging use-cases, Icon Solutions found.

Corporates are particularly keen to adopt the service as they believe it will lead to reduced cost of reconciliation (73%) and better visibility of real-time cash flow (63%).

Respondents also see RTP as an advantage for merchants, reducing their dependence on cards (71%), reducing costs for reconciliation (63%), and improving payment choices for customers (61%).

Limited Action Taken
Yet despite the observed increase in demand for its services, as well as recognition of its potential, banks and payment services providers have taken limited action to roll out RTP services.

Fewer than one in five respondents, or only 18%, already offer RTP services.

Only 27% of respondents plan to offer RTP services in the next 12 months.

Respondents named bank readiness, need for strong customer authentication to decrease the risk of fraud, and standardisation for simplicity and interoperability as the three biggest obstacles to wider industry adoption.

“Despite the undoubted potential of Request to Pay, technology transformation programmes remain notoriously difficult,” said Toine van Beusekom, strategy director at Icon Solutions.  

Van Beusekom noted that identifying a pragmatic path to upgrade existing technology estates, in tandem with a clear strategy that is aligned with broader business objectives, will be critical to accelerating bank support for Request to Pay services and remaining competitive in the long term. 

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