B2B Payments

Banks Lack Consensus On Real-Time Corporate Payments

A new report from Aite Group suggests financial service providers aren’t quite sure how real-time payments will play out in the corporate arena.

According to American Banker reports late last week, Aite Group’s latest survey found a lack of consensus among financial institutions with regards to how much they will charge corporate customers for real-time payment services, as well as whether they will be setting deadlines for same-day transactions and other additional support and features around the faster payments they will offer business clients.

With regards to cost, Aite found that 10 percent of banks plan to charge the same as they do for wire transfers when it comes to real-time B2B payments. Fifteen percent said they will charge the same as they do for ACH payments.

Forty percent said the cost will be somewhere between the cost of wire and ACH, and 35 percent simply aren’t sure.

Aite surveyed 20 of the nation’s top 60 banks between January and March.

“It’s a lot more than just saying, ‘I’m now going to offer this.’ There’s legal, there’s risk, there’s compliance, there’s operations, there’s implementation, there’s so many aspects,” said Aite Group senior analyst Erika Baumann in an interview with the publication. “At this point, banks have to get away from the high-level strategy, to start actually digging in, learning from the early adopters and as an industry coming together to ramp up that volume.”

The publication noted that, despite the uncertainty, some institutions do indeed see value in including corporates with faster and real-time payment services like Zelle.

But Baumann noted that, even as banks press further into accelerated payments, they are discovering new challenges they hadn’t thought of before. For instance, there is not a consensus with regards to operational ownership of real-time payment services: 40 percent of survey respondents said the departments already responsible for ACH, wire and checks will add real-time payments to their workload, while 30 percent said they weren’t sure how that would work.

Fifteen percent of banks said they planned to build an entirely separate unit to handle real-time payments.

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