Trends & Research

Trends & Research

Access the power of data and objective insight. Data from various sources, including NEACH surveys and member interviews, is compiled and made available as white papers, case studies, articles, benchmarking, and industry reports to provide a snapshot of both the current and future payments landscape. 

Published on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

“What’s next in payments?”…and other questions we need to be asking

What’s next in payments? To stay ahead of the curve, it’s a question we should always be asking ourselves. Yet, it’s a snowball effect, as new efforts unfold, the number of questions grows larger and larger as it moves ahead. 
 

But let’s not let ourselves get buried. There are several events coming up that just might answer some of our biggest questions, and perhaps give us a clearer line of sight into the future.  
 

Fed Forum: Where are we going with the FPC?
 

First, the Inaugural FedPayments Improvement Community Forum meets in downtown Chicago this week. The public goal of this event is to foster robust dialogue around complex issues, particularly as relates to the governance structure for a faster payments system. You may recall that the Governance Framework Formation Team (GFFT) put forth a proposal for the operating vision for a Faster Payments Council (FPC). They then surveyed the industry on the FPC to get a sense of whether or not it was hitting the mark. 
 

The GFFT recently released survey results, which shared what the industry said about the FPC. For the most part, the proposal received strong support from the industry overall. But support was mixed when it came to some of the more complex issues, such as board structure and funding. 
 

I think a lot of us are trying to figure out those details, but above all, we’re asking what does the FPC mean for community banks and credit unions? Is the proposed funding model cost-prohibitive for smaller credit unions and community banks? How will conflicting priorities play out? What are the implications?
 

I’m certain these questions will arise during the Forum, and I expect there may be announcements and more shared around the refined FPC structure. I, for one, plan to pay attention to where this is all heading. 
 

The Payments Innovation Alliance Meeting: What are the key take-aways? 
 

To that point, coming on the heels of the Fed Forum, the Payments Innovation Alliance will meet in Washington, DC next week. NEACH’s team will be there, driving dialogue. 
 

As you may know, NEACH’s Joe Casali is a co-lead of the Faster Payments Playbook team for the Alliance. This group is coming together to develop tools for financial institutions and business end users that are seeking direction and clarity on faster payments.
 

What’s interesting to me is that the dialogue this group has certainly will be influenced by some of the discussion and announcements coming out of the Fed Forum the preceding week. How will the two efforts complement one another? How does the work the Alliance group does dovetail with the plan for the FPC? How will these two groups come together?
 

Time will tell, but I think the discussions at the Alliance meeting will give way to some new direction for community banks and credit unions looking to speed up payments and/or find new ways to innovate in safe, secure ways. 
 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How do we protect ourselves in today’s changing environment? 
 

And the safety and security factor is of paramount importance in this time of industry change. Financial institutions can’t innovate without having considered the risks of changing the pace or flow of a transaction. 
 

It’s timely that October 1 marks the beginning of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year’s overarching theme focuses on the importance of shared responsibility and collaboration: “Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and we all must work together to improve our Nation’s cybersecurity.”
 

So, in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, NEACH recently sat down with President and CEO of FS-ISAC Bill Nelson to learn more about what banks and credit unions can do to protect themselves and their customers from cyber attacks. Look for these interviews in the next few weeks. You won’t want to miss them. 
 

Innovating Payments: How do we get beyond what’s happening right now to make the right choice for our future?
 

While all of this is activity is critical to advancing the industry, I know I find myself wondering what it all means. How do we chart a path ahead through an avalanche of new ideas, solutions and providers? 
 

NEACH is launching its Innovating Payments conference specifically to answer these questions. This event focuses exclusively on encouraging innovation at community banks and credit unions. 
 

We believe partnering with and learning from entrepreneurial experts will give community banks and credit unions unique opportunities to get ahead of the next wave of products, services, and trends in the industry. Take a few minutes to check out the program and start exploring the exciting developments happening in New England. 
 

I think with all of these factors at play, the smart thing for all of us is to continuously ask the question, “What’s next?” It will help guide our path forward, and the exciting challenge lies in choosing the right steps to get there. 
 

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Author: Meagan Norlund

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