By Jim Maimone, SVP, Senior Enterprise Payments Platform Product Manager, Citizens Bank
What, for you, are the benefits of attending the ‘Payments USA Forum’ and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?
Today’s payments environment is changing faster than it has in decades, and it is important to stay abreast of the technology, the Fintech’s in the space, and the impact/applicability on existing rules and regulations as well as additional rules in this new payments environment.
It’s important to keep up with all the press. However, to gain a solid foundation, it is imperative to share questions and concerns with capable practitioners. It is impossible to wade through all the financial press and vendor demonstrations to determine if it’s just another mousetrap or really a better mousetrap. Actively engaging in dialogue at a conference like Payments Forum can help you wade through the mountains of payments information and see how it directly affects you, your colleagues, and your organization.
How has the change of legislation (PSD2, Basel 4) influenced the payments landscape?
As we move to a faster payments environment, we do need to look at how the changing landscape applies. We need to keep an eye on the safety of payments, trying to anticipate new threats that could damage the assets of the client as well as the bank’s reputation.
Open Banking, although seems like a consumer’s right to data, could expose the banks to fraud committed outside of the banking network and present an obligation when the bank should have been able to rely on information presented in the payment instruction. This could be an unintended consequence.
How have non-financial institutions helped in the growth of the payments landscape?
Fintechs have been instrumental in leading the change. Although The Clearing House owner banks have taken great leaps forward creating a real-time payments network, the fintechs have identified a number of friction points in the payments space. Making banking simpler in a faster world without skimping on security is all our goal, but the fintechs have been quite nimble and focused on the client experience, and have helped provide the research and development that supports the banking networks.
What are some of the latest developments surrounding customer expectations and payments?
From a consumer standpoint, removing the friction has been the goal. How can I pay my landscaper or share a restaurant tab with my roommate. On the corporate side, I think companies are reacting to consumer expectations. The “gig” economy is driving how contractors want to be paid. Therefore, payroll is moving toward a faster payments environment. Avoiding check issuance is another. Having payments receive and post immediately will help with emergency payrolls, termination pay, etc. and avoid the cost of check escheatment
In addition, commercial clients are trying to deal with system changes. Moving to an ISO standard is good, but business need to make system changes, possibly re-negotiate payment terms, etc. It will be our ability to assist these businesses that will drive the benefits of faster payments.
What do you foresee the payments landscape evolving over the next twelve months?
In the US, I foresee a rising demand as first movers start to use RTP. It may start with payroll, and when businesses and consumers see the value of immediacy of settlement, notifications, etc. you will see demand increase. It is slow moving now with technology companies; however, I believe their adoption will create a wave of demand in other business applications – “gig” payroll, termination pay, late pay, etc.