There has been a seismic shift in consumer behaviours when it comes to payments, specifically when it comes to the speed of transactions. 

Eric Foust, VP of Banking Partnerships North America at Trustly, and Adrian Torres, Payments Manager at Cross River Banks, shared their experiences and use cases dealing with payment processes during a recent Trustly webinar. 

The duo spoke on how partners have moved away from being manually orientated, as well as dealing with customer expectations for instant payments.

Foust began by drawing upon his 25-year experience in the sector and how stifling it was in years gone-by to send and receive transactions, and how his beliefs have evolved over time. 

He stated: “We’re in a really interesting time in terms of faster payments in general. Expectations are currently evolving. My thoughts around the payment speed have fully evolved as to where I expect to make a payment, online and should happen in a day or two. 

“When things happen immediately, there’s a little bit of that delightful feeling. For me personally and professionally, my psyche is evolving to where I hope I can do faster payments for all my payments, but I can’t yet. But it’s no longer a want or a desire, it’s an expectation.”

The proliferation of faster payments, particularly in the US, has accelerated in terms of the consumer’s demand, but has been gradual from a practical perspective. 

The Real-Time Payment (RTP) rail first launched in the US in 2017 and has been a cornerstone of the US payments sector, allowing users to send instantaneous payments from online account-to-account, taking over its predecessor ACH. But RTP rails have still yet to infiltrate the US consumers’ thoughts when it comes to payments.  

The Trustly webinar kicked off by asking audience members to answer a poll, ‘Have you ever used a fast payment method’, to which 46% said yes, whilst 54% said no, highlighting that wider adoption of these faster payment models is still untapped. 

“Any new payment rail – RTP etc – there is going to be that buffer of time, with implementation from the banks to get it up and running,” said Torres. 

“I’ll be interested to see clients currently using RTP and whether the appetite would be to flipping over to FedNow.”

The FedNow payment rail – which is expected to launch this year in the US – is just one example of the next evolution of faster payments, one that the Federal Bank can operate to not only provide even faster payments, but to give customers enhanced security over their money. 

“FedNow is the complement to RTP for many financial institutions out there who decided to not connect into the RTP network for a whole litany of reasons. Those reasons can vary from business models, or feel more safe with the Fed owning the payment rail,” added Foust. 

“I think FedNow is going to increase the number of financial institutions that are able to support real-time, 24/7 payments here in the US. I don’t expect either payment rail to have complete ubiquity like ACH, so it’s going to be up to entities to develop intelligent routing systems. 

“But I do believe with the FedNow payment rail coming out this year is really going to propel us into believing real-time payment is becoming an expectation.”

With FedNow in the offing for customers this year and a whole array of payment providers in Europe looking to branch out into the US market, there has never been a better service to be able to make real-time payments. 

Whilst the process of faster payments continues to mature, US customers are already coming round to the realisation that faster payments are accessible and readily available, it’s now on the providers to make that desire a realisation.