Immediate Payments Tops Payment Professionals’ Technology Wish List
Monday, August 13, 2018
Technology continues to drive innovation in the commercial payments sector, according to a recent survey of finance and treasury professionals conducted by TD Bank. Real-time payments are leading change, as nearly half of respondents (42 percent) cited integration of these capabilities within online banking as the technological innovation that will have the greatest positive impact on the industry over the next three to five years.
Payment professionals also predict artificial intelligence and machine learning will create positive change (20 percent) in the industry, while more advanced technologies such as blockchain (11 percent) or biometrics (4 percent) are not yet at the forefront.
The survey collected responses from 390 finance professionals on industry trends and outlook at the 2018 NACHA PAYMENTS Conference in San Diego in May.
With improved technology comes the need to revamp outdated frameworks. Respondents were not shy to call out the need to refresh internal infrastructure systems as the main roadblock to success in implementing digital payments strategies. When asked about their greatest challenge in payments innovation, more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents stated the need for corporations and/or smaller banks to update legacy infrastructure to support these functions.
Payments professionals expect their financial institutions to evolve as well. An overwhelming majority said that integrating a mobile application for business banking would improve a company's experience with its financial institution, according to 74 percent of respondents.
Payments experts hold a strong view against the validity of cryptocurrencies, despite the hype around the topic in the media. In fact, the majority (64 percent) of survey respondents noted that they do not view cryptocurrencies as a legitimate form of digital payment. Despite this, just 4 percent selected controversy around cryptocurrencies as the greatest challenge facing payments innovation today.
Cybersecurity and payment fraud remain a top concern for payments professionals but saw a slight decline in the survey results. This year, 84 percent of respondents stated that payments fraud will become a bigger threat in the next one to two years, compared with 91 percent of respondents in 2017.
This drop could indicate that companies are gaining confidence as they prioritize and invest greater resources in cybersecurity prevention and preparedness. Further supporting this idea, 9 percent of respondents noted that cybersecurity software will have the greatest positive impact on the payments industry over the next three to five years, potentially indicating that payments professionals may finally be seeing some positive developments in the area of cybersecurity.