In today’s fast-paced digital world, the payments industry is facing a plethora of challenges and opportunities. One of the most significant challenges is meeting the evolving demands of customers, who expect more convenient, seamless, fast, and secure payments experiences. The need to prioritize initiatives amidst rapid innovation and increased competition is another major challenge. To stay ahead of the curve and create new payments value for customers, banks and payments companies must focus on educating themselves and their customers on the latest technologies and trends. In this article, we will delve deeper into these challenges and explore ways to overcome them and drive a better payments experience for customers with special insights from industry leaders Chris Nichols, Director of Capital Markets at SouthState Bank; Paul Kizirian, Strategic Advisor at Aite-Novarica Group; Gene Neyer, Independent Consultant; and Deepak Gupta, SVP Global Head of Payments as a Service, Volante, who spoke at the inaugural Volante Evolve.
Meeting Evolving Customer Demands
The demands of banking customers have been rapidly evolving in recent years, driven by technological innovations. However, most banks are significantly behind the curve when it comes to transforming their payments capabilities and infrastructure. Chris Nichols pointed out that most payment challenges facing banks today have more to do with meeting the emerging needs of businesses, as individual consumers already benefit from a variety of consumer-facing platforms such as Venmo and CashApp.
Paul Kizirian identified a key pain point associated with B2B payments modernization, pointing to the disconnect between treasurers or cash managers, who are primarily focused on integrating the latest technologies, and accountants and controllers, who think in terms of accounting processes and whose work dominates a bank’s ERP system. Kizirian suggested that the greatest challenge for banks may be “the adoption of integrated payments, in terms of getting ERP systems connected to the bank and having a way to facilitate transactions across all the different rails.”
Defining Priorities Amidst Rapid Innovation and Increased Competition
With limited time and resources, and a surplus of increasingly urgent transformation initiatives to address, banks need to clearly define their priorities if they hope to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving payments landscape. Chris Nichols highlights the challenge of allocating resources and capital, noting that “we don’t have enough of either, talent included, to make all those things happen, yet we need to because our competitors are doing one or other.”
Paul Kizirian emphasizes the importance of tackling the complexity of upgrading existing payment cores and IT infrastructure, while not losing focus on the primary goal of innovation and creating new value for customers. He suggested that integrating cloud-based solutions could be the key to banks making progress without submitting to costly overhauls of existing systems.
In summary, the discussion at Volante’s Evolve conference provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the payments industry today. The need to meet the ever-evolving demands of customers while navigating rapid innovation and increased competition, and the importance of education in creating new payments value for customers, are key takeaways that payments professionals must keep in mind as they strive to deliver a better payments experience for their customers.
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