With the near simultaneous launch of immediate payments (also known as instant and real-time payments) in Thailand and, critically, the US, the world is fast moving beyond the question of ‘do we need real-time payments?’
The influential millennial generation has grown up with the expectation of immediacy, universal availability and accessibility. Banks and the payments industry are now playing catch up. Mobile phone penetration now reaches 100% in some developing countries with many people owning multiple handsets, while mature cloud-based services such as Spotify and Dropbox, and the emergence of platform-based companies such as Uber and AirBnB feature seamlessly integrated payment mechanisms.
Their success demonstrates the ability for services to be delivered globally in an efficient and cost effective way. By comparison, the payments industry has not adopted these technology trends, instead operating fragmented systems, built and managed for each market.
So what is next for immediate payments, and how can we bring the experiences and behaviours of other parts of digital life to the world of payments? We believe a number of themes will shape this conversation: the movement from local to regional and global; a growing recognition of the value opportunity, and; the power of the proxy platform and mobile commerce.
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