Change continues at an accelerated pace across the industry as financial institutions and their customers and members work to adapt to the “new normal.” In this month’s issue, we explore how real-time payments are facilitating financial inclusion, a movement to ensure individuals and businesses can access affordable and effective financial services[i], among gig workers, the underbanked, and the unbanked.
Also in the news, ICBA Bancard announced it is partnering with Finzly, a FinTech provider that offers payments solutions to facilitate real-time payments via its payment hub. Payveris, a FinTech money-movement provider, has also thrown its hat into the real-time payments ring. And interest in cryptocurrencies is on the rise, with Venmo adding a “crypto” button to its new app.
Read on to learn more.
Faster and Real-Time Payments
Gig workers make up an ever-expanding workforce segment, taking jobs as diverse as Lyft and Uber drivers, delivery people, business consultants, and contractors. According to the June/July 2021 Real-Time Payments Tracker, real-time payments is a channel for financial inclusion for gig workers.
“These workers face massive financial obstacles due to delayed payments, however, with 29 percent indicating they took a loan from their friends or family and 13 percent taking a bank loan to help them out until their next payments,” reported the Tracker. “The majority of gig workers said they would perform better if their payments were quicker, making real-time payments a huge potential boon for the industry.”
Real-time payments also offer benefits to the unbanked and underbanked, according to the Tracker. Although the Federal Reserve reported a decline in the number of unbanked people in 2021, the numbers remain sobering. According to the Tracker:
Just 50 percent of Black households are fully banked, and this figure rises to 66 percent among Hispanic households and 85 percent among white ones. Additionally, two-fifths of adults who lack checking or savings accounts use some form of alternative financial service in any given year, including predatory loans like payday loans, paycheck advances, or pawnshop loans.
Real-time payments can be a real game-changer for this segment of the population and help reduce the cycle of predatory lending and poverty.
In other real-time payments news, ICBA Bancard, the payments services subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), announced a new partnership with Finzly to facilitate instant payments via Finzly’s Payment Galaxy, a payment hub for improved convenience, cash flow, and efficiency for community banks and their customers. Finzly was a fintech participant in ICBA's 2020 ThinkTECH Accelerator program.
According to the release, Finzly’s instant payments solution can be up and running in as little as three months.
Payveris, a fintech money movement provider and a fellow NEACH member, recently announced that its “MoveMoney Platform now delivers a real-time P2P solution that rivals Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App.” According to the release, the new service enables financial institutions' customers to instantly send money to anyone with a U.S. bank or credit union account using the recipient's mobile phone number or email address—no special app required.
Available via API, SDK widget, and SSO integration, Payveris' P2P service uses the debit card rails for real-time funding and crediting transactions, enabling recipients to instantly get money delivered to their bank or credit union account.
Emerging Payment Developments
In other news, PayPal announced an updated look and feel to its Venmo app. The updated Venmo app will make it easier for users to manage their money, connect with family and friends, and discover new features. The updated app also offers expanded privacy and security controls. The company's news release pointed out a "Crypto" button that "allows customers easy access to explore the world of crypto, view trends in real-time, and buy, sell or hold four different types of cryptocurrencies directly from the app.”
The newly redesigned app began rolling out to select customers July 20 and will be available to all customers in the coming weeks.
Nacha/ACH Network Growth
Robust growth continued for the modern ACH Network in the second quarter of 2021. Payment volume climbed 9.9%, with strong growth in business-to-business (B2B) payments.
The ACH Network processed 7.3 billion payments in the second quarter, 655 million more than the same time in 2020, according to a July 27 news release. The value of those payments was $18.4 trillion, an increase of 24.6% from a year earlier.
B2B payments increased 28.7%, to 1.3 billion payments.
“While the B2B segment was growing before the pandemic, the transformation of business payments from paper has greatly accelerated over the past year,” said Jane Larimer, Nacha President and CEO, in the release. “The ACH Network is here to enable fully electronic business-to-business payments.”
NEACH Your Strategic Partner
As summer winds down and plans ramp up for the fall, now is an excellent time to rediscover all NEACH has to offer. Check out our educational tools and resources designed for payments professionals at every stage in their career progress. You can download our educational catalog here.
Consider NEACH your strategic partner. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 782-321-1011 and let us know how we can help. Or call our Payments Hotline at 855-NEACHQA.
AUTHOR: Joe Casali, AAP, NCP
Executive Vice President
As the EVP of Payments Innovation for NEACH, Joe focuses on exploring innovative solutions and technologies that will help position members for success, both now and in the future. Connect with Joe to read more of his blogs, articles, and posts.
[i] Pritchard, Justin, “What is Financial Inclusion?” Accessed online 7/27/2021 at What Is Financial Inclusion? (thebalance.com).