Is FedNow the future of payments? Yes, and no

Gone are the days when a new technology solution or platform could be implemented and then left to run for a decade or more. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of payments, where rising customer expectations and increasing competition from both bank and non-bank actors require a level of foresight and responsiveness that smaller organizations may find difficult to build into their planning. [Continue]

Fast cash, dirty money and the barriers that keep people out

In the COVID-19 era, the merchants I frequent or the coffee shops that dot my commute have gone all-in on cards and touchless payments. Cash is increasingly being rejected by stores for its “filth.” The other day, I placed a $20 bill on a counter to buy a $5 coffee. When the cashier saw the bill, he audibly sighed, slipped on a nitrile glove and picked the thing up like it was a dead mouse.  [Continue]

Four ways to support small businesses in the new year

They say the only constant is change, and 2020 represented a sea change. The way we live, work, and yes, pay, has all been upended in many ways. And small businesses have borne the brunt of the upheaval. The numbers tell the depth of the struggle with reports indicating that 60 percent of small businesses forced to shut their doors due to the pandemic will never reopen. [Continue]

Payments a puzzle for community banks

With apps and growing demand for mobile payment options gradually pushing cash aside, banks face a conundrum on how to adjust to an ever-changing, competitive marketplace. It comes down to technology, what options the bank goes with, how effectively banks incorporate that into their culture, and how much they invest in it. [Continue]

Payment realities

Was anyone surprised when the Fed announced August 5 it would create a real-time payment and settlement service? The Fed has been the backstop clearing house for payments for more than a century; the evolution of those payments to digital is no reason for the Fed to back away from the crucial work of facilitating payments and settlement. [Continue]

A monopoly in the public interest?

The idea that only The Clearing House should provide real time payments and that competition from the Federal Reserve banks or others would hinder progress is wrong and inconsistent with over 100 years of experience. If we are to use history as a guide, evidence shows that having the Federal Reserve banks operating within the payments system has tremendously benefited the public. [Continue]

Community banks need to retain, grow role in payments system

Increasing competition from tech-based innovators demonstrates the importance of the payments system to the banking industry. Connect payments with information and you’ve got a powerful basis for business success. Paul Waltz, president of Shazam, likes to say the historical value of the banking franchise was in loans; today it is in deposits and in the future it will be in information. [Continue]

P2P payments: Service evolves; community banks sign on

Since person-to-person payments became accessible to community banks roughly a decade ago, many have adopted the third party technology as a bank-branded service. Last June, a new P2P network hit the marketplace. Called Zelle, the service is an evolutionary step in P2P in terms of transaction speed. Owned by a conglomerate of some of the largest banks, the network has also been made available to community banks through partnerships with FIS, Fiserv, and Jack Henry and Associates. Steve Shaw, Fiserv’s vice president of strategic marketing and electronic payments, talked about the evolution of P2P, how it works and what’s coming next for the technology. [Continue]

The rapidly changing world of payments

It seems that every payment network in the United States is going through some sort of significant change. Even the check world, where little changes on a yearly basis, is faced with significant updates to Regulation CC. Those changes are not effective until next year but banks need to be preparing for those now! [Continue]