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Instant Payments, Hurry Up Already!

Gareth Lodge
Senior Analyst, Payments, Celent

Celent and I have been involved with Instant Payments since everyone called them Real Time Payments! Our first report dates back to 2014, and that five years feels long from our vantage point now.

Despite early skepticism, the needle is moving exponentially in the direction of a reality that was considered impossible less than a decade ago. Still, not every system is at the same volume and penetration level. While the journey to real time has most definitely begun, each country is moving at a different pace.

In the paper “Instant Payments: Hurry Up Already”, I discuss the evolution of instant payments, and the wide range of challenges and opportunities that banks are facing or will soon face, including: 

  • Previous systems technology limitations and the necessary future improvements
  • How differing levels of capability maturity across nations affects the global instant payments industry
  • The need for banks to look at real-time enablement across their entire infrastructure to truly support the concept of instant payments (“it would be strange to create a digital process to buy a product…in real time…and then wait three days for a batch payment to clear”)
  • The political task of justifying the cost of building a new payments platform without being able to easily forecast the financial payoff

Finally, I suggest a framework for a path forward that highlights how banks can circumnavigate the various challenges—and capitalize on the opportunities—with the right strategic focus, as they move forward with building their instant payments capabilities. 

Continue reading on Celent

Gareth Lodge
Gareth Lodge
Senior Analyst, Payments, Celent

Gareth's research focuses on Payments. As part of the payments team, his prime focus is on corporate payments, working closely with his colleagues in the Corporate Banking team. He is a leading expert on: bank payment processing, and is the analyst who has been covering payment services hubs the longest in the industry; payment networks and infrastructures, including Swift, ACH and Wires; and real-time payments, a topic he has been active in since 2006, and has worked in on almost every continent. Gareth has been widely quoted in the media, including American Banker, New York Times and BBC News, and is a frequent speaker at such events as Sibos, EBADay, NACHA Payments, as well as private events around the world.

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