Faster Payments

Has The Race To Faster Payments Come Off The Rails?

With the majority of Americans keeping their money in depository accounts, are typically risk-averse banks paying too much attention to FinTech innovations like the blockchain? The second edition of the PYMNTS Faster Payments Tracker, powered by NACHA, shares why MPD Founder Dr. David S. Evans called blockchain the “Kim Kardashian of financial technology” — and why a few million dollars invested by heavyweight financial institutions doesn’t quite mean a seismic shift is imminent.


The Faster Payments TrackerTM, powered by NACHA, is your go-to resource for staying up to date on a month-by-month basis. The tracker will highlight the contributions of different stakeholders, including institutions and technology coming together to make this happen.

This month’s Faster Payments Tracker will give you the need-to-know information on the players who are making notable strides toward a viable real-time solution. We take a look at the latest major faster payments-related news and trends, as well as whether banks are investing their research dollars wisely in their pursuit of a real-time faster payments solutions. Banks are investing millions of dollars in researching FinTech technology that exists outside their existing rails. Might they really go outside their own infrastructures for a solution?

The Real-time Race

For our February Faster Payments Tracker cover story, PYMNTS interviewed MPD Founder Dr. David S. Evans about whether it’s realistic for banks to utilize a particular FinTech option as the backbone for an integrated real-time payments solution. Here’s a sneak peek:

“Although our venerable financial institutions can learn lots from independent technology players as they develop their own secure, regulated real-time offerings, they will likely need to work atop existing infrastructure to rein in risk and meet regulatory compliance requirements. Innovative, independent FinTech options potentially open windows for risk (mostly unforeseen) that just seems too great for risk-averse financial institutions and their customers to take on.

As for the blockchain itself, which has generated tons of press and general heavy breathing, MPD Founder Dr. David S. Evans offers an interesting comparison. The blockchain, Evans posited, “is the Kim Kardashian of financial technology.” People love to talk about sexy technology, he said, and the blockchain sure seems sexy, but financial institutions may not find that it is so practical to live with. The blockchain is a technology that was first used for bitcoin and requires a distributed decentralized group of “miners” to run computers to process transactions.”





The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.