Three Must Haves for a Faster Payments Network

Jun 20, 2016

Faster, non-cash payments are here to stay in a digital-based landscape but what is the best and most secure way of making this happen for financial institutions?

Our world continues to move faster every day, and people expect their money to move at the same speed. Whether sending money to a friend or family member, paying the rent, or paying a bill, consumers expect the option for their funds to be credited immediately. Fuelled by 24/7 mobile capabilities and a global shift away from cash, the demand for faster payments will only accelerate.

In Singapore and The Netherlands a majority of payments being made are non-cash transactions. The U.K. went live with the Faster Payments initiative in 2008 that sped up payment times from 3 business days to a matter of hours. Sweden and Singapore followed with their real-time systems in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The U.S. and Australia have reached a tipping point, where according to a Mastercard study in March 2015, non-cash methods of payment are on the rise.

For the U.S, Fiserv is building the NOWSM Network, which embodies collaboration via connection. The network not only connects everyone that people want to pay – from other people to businesses – it also connects other networks. It is these connections that make payments move more quickly.

In Australia, we see this process unfolding through the creation of a real-time retail payments platform. Expected to be live in 2017, this platform will provide Australian businesses and consumers with a fast, versatile, data-rich payments system for everyday payments. The innovative new platform will operate 24/7, allowing domestic payments to be made quickly between financial institutions and their customers’ accounts, enabling funds to be available almost immediately.

Since faster, non-cash payments are here to stay, what is the best and most secure way to make this happen for a financial institution? My top three must-haves in a selecting a payment network:

  1. Speed – What is real-time? Fiserv research has shown three in four households want real-time balances on all their accounts and 72 percent want instant posting of transactions. A payments network must define a customer experience that meets their needs and wants of consumers and businesses. Instant confirmation of the success or failure of a payment is as, or even more, important than the movement of funds itself. 
  2. Security – Security is expected in all payments, and there is no room for error. Once trust is lost; it is not easily won back. Security, along with compliance requirements, is a key differentiator between what banks can provide over non-bank payment providers. This aspect must be inherent in the solution design. Customers need to have confidence in the solution to adopt it, and organizations must have the people, processes and technology internally to support this. 
  3. Convenience– Even with increasing non-cash transactions globally and the trend to real-time payments at the industry level, consumers are not going to take up new banking services for the sake of it. Real-time payments are more than just speed. It is about reliability of transfers, value creation for consumers and partners, and immediate responses to customer demands for ‘service now’. A payments network must deliver an integrated value proposition, tied with core financial systems that will make solution adoption a no-brainer for consumers and businesses. This will encourage wide spread take up and help network members meet business case expectations faster. 

Consumer expectations and behaviours are driving the move from a cash-based to a digital-based payment landscape with faster payments at the helm, especially in Asia Pacific. Initiatives such as those I’ve mentioned above are going to continue to grow and expand driven by increasing customer expectations for payments that move at the same speed as their lives.

Robert Liong, Vice President and Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands



Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) enables clients to achieve best-in-class results by driving quality and innovation in payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer and channel management, and business insights and optimisation. For more than 30 years, Fiserv has been a global leader in financial services technology. This year, Fiserv was honoured to be named a FORTUNE® magazine's World's Most Admired Company for the third consecutive year; in 2015 the company was recognised among Forbes magazine's America's Best Employers. Fiserv drives innovation that transforms experiences for more than 13,000 clients worldwide including banks, credit unions and thrifts, billers, mortgage lenders and leasing companies, brokerage and investment firms and other business clients.

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