Whether embracing development and adoption of new payment rails or developing solutions for legacy versions, the latest in payments innovation is all about speed – even for corporate payments.
New research reveals that B2B payments are is expected to account for the largest portion of faster payments volume in the U.S., while in Brazil, the central bank is eyeing business payments as a segment that can significantly benefit from the country’s new instant payment scheme that will debut later this year.
Below, PYMNTS rounds up the latest news in payments rail innovation as financial service providers and governments drive progress in corporate payments.
B2B Faster Payments Predicted for High Growth
New research from Mercator Advisory Group predicts B2B payments will become the largest payment segment in the U.S. that adopts faster payment rails this year. The report, "Small Business Mindsets and Banking Habits: Attitudes Matter" found that 44 percent of faster payments transactions will be B2B payments, while person-to-person transactions are expected to account for 34 percent of transaction volume. While the report did not indicate which faster payments rail is likely to drive adoption, researchers noted that the Federal Reserve's FedNow plans have driven overall interest in real-time payments.
House Committee Eyes Blockchain for SMBs
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business is ready to hold a hearing this week to discuss the potential impact and benefits of blockchain for the nation's small businesses, Yahoo! Finance reported last week. "Entrepreneurs across the nation have already begun to utilize blockchain to enhance their security, spread their products to new markets and run their daily operations," said Nydia Velázquez, chair of the committee, in a statement. "Congress must have a clear understanding of how blockchain is utilized and how it can help small businesses moving forward." It's unclear whether the meeting will specifically address blockchain's potential role in small business payments, however.
Australia Eyes Cash Ban Bill
Australian lawmakers continue to consider new legislation that proposes a ban on using cash for transaction values higher than A$10,000 (about $6,533 USD) in an effort to migrate those payments to electronic rails. According to ZDNet reports, the bill would introduce penalties for entities that make or accept transactions above the limit. Under current legislation, businesses in "high-risk" industries must report any cash transactions exceeding that value. Lawmakers say that an extended ban would more adequately address financial fraud and other risks on the black economy.
Cashfree Enables Real-Time Corporate Payouts
In India, payments company Cashfree continues to drive adoption of faster payments technology for corporates with the launch of its newest service, Payouts. Through collaboration with financial institutions (FIs) including HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank and IndusInd Bank, Cashfree offers an API that allows corporates to initiate payments via a range of rails, including Amazon Pay and UPI, India's new faster payments rail. According to Cashfree, Payouts can accelerate corporates' adoption of faster payments and address friction of their payout processes, including refunds, vendor payments and other transaction types.
equensWorldline Enters SEPA Processing Agreement
Worldline subsidiary equensWorldline recently announced it has reached an agreement with UniCredit to process all SEPA payments and instant payments – as well as all cross-border, domestic and high-value payments – for both Worldline and UniCredit, according to reports. In a statement, equensWorldline CEO Michael Steinbach said its expertise in Europe will help the market drive toward global real-time transacting. According to their announcement, the company will process transactions for UniCredit in both Austria and Germany, with all transactions across payment rails managed on an integrated platform.
Brazil Nears Instant Payments Launch
Brazil continues to prep for the launch of its national instant payments rail, with the nation's central bank, the Banco Central do Brazil, planning for its debut in November of this year. The rail can facilitate payments "in a few seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including between accounts at different institutions,” NFCW reports recently said.
The Brazilian Instant Payment Scheme (PIX), as it's called, can also open up opportunities for new business models. The Instant Payment System (SPI) will centralize settlements for PIX, reports noted, with participation mandatory for all FIs in the country. In a statement, the central bank said the instant payment solution can "optimize the cash flow management of receiving users, which will tend to reduce their need for credit," highlighting the ability for faster payment rails to accelerate B2B supplier payments and mitigate the need for trade credit or the risk of late payments. Additionally, the bank noted, the rail will support elevated transaction data transmission for streamlined reconciliation and reporting.