B2B Payments

ASEAN Banks Eager For Real-Time Payments

Banks across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region expect real-time payments to come with some major benefits to their businesses, according to new analysis from ACI Worldwide and Ovum.

A report released this week by the companies found ASEAN financial institutions are increasing their payments innovation investments, with real-time payments largely viewed as the primary catalyst to digital transformation for both consumer and corporate services.

ACI Worldwide and Ovum found in their “2018 ASEAN Payments Insight Survey: Real-Time Payments Modernization and Innovation” report that 82 percent of survey respondents believe real-time payments will drive revenue growth. More than three-quarters expect faster payments to save them money.

Further, 86 percent of respondents said real-time payments will enable better customer service, and 89 percent are already developing new products for their customers based on real-time payments capabilities.

More than three-quarters expect real-time payments to eventually replace the use of payment cards.

Researchers also found widespread understanding among financial institutions across the ASEAN region regarding the potential for open banking and application programming interfaces (APIs) to impact the industry, with 97 percent of respondents agreeing there are clear benefits to open APIs (compared to 90 percent globally). However, the report did find that banks in the region are less clear about exactly how they will create APIs for third-party use.

“Short-term investment plans are setting the base for long-term strategic developments, as many organizations address core ‘hygiene’ factors to create a sound platform for payments innovation,” said ACI Worldwide GM and VP for Asia Operations Leslie Choo in a statement. “Getting the house in order will be a precursor to developing services that enhance the customer experience, and truly reaping the benefits of innovation.”

“The prospect of real-time, cross-border payments in the ASEAN region and beyond is another reason why ASEAN financial institutions are increasing investment, and the enthusiasm for real-time demonstrates that bank executives see this as a primary catalyst,” the executive added.

“The rapid development of real-time payments — in Asia generally but in ASEAN countries in particular — has lessons for banks, central infrastructure operators and merchant service providers around the world, as they work toward the realization for the first cross-border, multi-currency, real-time payments network,” stated Ovum Principal Analyst David Bannister. “The survey results show that ASEAN banks are focusing increased investment on ensuring that they are able to participate and compete in the emerging ecosystem; security — a prerequisite in payments — is front of mind for many, but all are looking ahead to the innovation opportunities created by the combination of real-time payments and API-based open banking.”

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