The majority of small businesses across the U.S. and Europe say they are willing to switch banks to a provider that offers real-time payments, says a new report from ACI Worldwide.
The survey, conducted by YouGov, was released Wednesday (April 12) to explore how real-time payments may change the way small businesses approach banking. In the U.S., two-thirds of SMEs said a bank that offers real-time payments could be an encouraging motivator behind switching financial service providers.
Across Europe, real-time payments are enticing to SMEs, too. More than half (58 percent) of those in Germany, 75 percent in France and a whopping 90 percent in Italy told surveyors that they would see real-time payments offerings as a reason to switch banks.
Small businesses across the U.S. and Europe are also revealing why real-time payments are such a promising proposition for them. In the U.S., nearly three-quarters said the technology would be appealing because it would enable faster payments from their customers, while 54 percent also cited the ability for real-time payments to enable faster payments to suppliers.
According to analysts, the research suggests SMEs are willing to adopt newer payments technologies, with mobile and P2P payment tools already playing a prominent role in SME payment habits. Further, the data found, payment delays are a top challenge for small businesses, with 51 percent of U.S. small businesses citing delayed in either outgoing or incoming payments one of the most frustrating aspects of their operations.
“2017 will be a crucial year for real-time payments globally,” reflected ACI Worldwide Director Solution Consulting, Immediate Payments, Barry Kislingbury in a statement. “Banks have a real opportunity to work with their customers and offer the new and innovative services they really want. Delayed and unpredictable cash flow can significantly affect the successor businesses, particularly small ones.
“The real-time schemes currently being built in the U.S. and Europe will empower customers and businesses to send and receive real-time payments from their existing accounts and will also provide a platform for banks to launch new services built around a real-time payments hub for today’s digital economy,” he added.