Are Fast Payments Fast Enough?

July 2, 2014 Samantha Paxson

Are Fast Payments Fast Enough?As you can see in the video above, the newly revamped Sprig by CO-OP is here – and with it, the ability for credit unions to participate in a real-time payments network.

What does that mean? Although the term “real-time payments network” seems self-explanatory, the idea is so foreign to most that it’s natural to do a double take. When members make payments using the Sprig by CO-OP app, the money is available in real time. Immediately. They can see it in mobile banking, and they can spend it – right away.

When the Fed surveyed business and consumer payees last year about their preferences for payment speed, 75 percent of business payees and 69 percent of consumer payees preferred “instant” or “one-hour” payments. Yet, these preferences aren’t a reality for most consumers or businesses. The Fed has launched a faster payments initiative, designed to explore the creation of a real-time payments network in the U.S.

But the exploration process is only beginning. And fast payments aren’t truly fast if they can’t be implemented for another five or ten years.

Though we see many real benefits to CO-OP’s new real-time payments network, perhaps the most compelling one is that it’s available now. That’s important, because “now” is when consumers want speedy transactions. “Now” is when people want to be paid. “Now” is when the millions of people who conduct every kind of business instantaneously all day long expect to be able to make real-time payments.

Changes to the payments system happen slowly. Adoption of EMV technology – already decades in the works – is unfolding gradually. Digital wallets have been the next big thing for years, but actual usage is sporadic at best. Here is an improvement that consumers and businesses already want, and technology that you can put to work now. It’s not enough just to move toward faster transactions. If you believe your members want real-time payments now, you have to go fast.

Register now for a live CO-OP webinar, “A Network of Now! Payments in Real Time,” Wednesday, July 9 at 11:00 Pacific/2:00 Eastern. More information here.

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