Real-Time Payment Insights with Jim Marous

Banking & Fintech Insight

In a recent webinar, Paymentus Innovation Officer Marcell King joined The Financial Brand’s Jim Marous to discuss today’s competitive landscape and how the Paymentus Instant Payment Network® (IPN) can help banks and credit unions meet outsized consumer payment expectations.

The wide-ranging discussion touched on a number of key topics, including real-time payments, seamless connectivity and overcoming inertia to accelerate innovation. Below are a few key highlights from the webinar.

On Real-Time Payments Preparedness

Jim Marous (JM): The question came up, ‘How much is every one of these institutions putting as a priority being ready for real-time payments?’ I was astounded, as I told you, that the majority of organizations were sitting back and saying, ‘Well, we're kind of prepared for it, but we're really looking to see what the return on investment was going to be, what the uptake is going to be, and whether or not it's going to have a decent return and need.’ That completely blew me away, because it was not at all what I thought was going to be the response.

On Addressing ROI When Considering Real-Time Payments

Marcell King (MK): I think the challenge is that the institutions, those that aren't planning for (real-time payments) or haven't really thought about it, have to think about it differently, more of as a customer retention and loyalty tool. You think of even Zelle. The volume of business that Zelle has done over the last five years has been incredible. It's because you're providing that consumer with real-time capabilities. It's driving more transactions. It's driving stickiness to the institution. That's where the ROI is.

On Combating Inertia

JM: In my writings, in the podcast and in other webinars, I keep on talking about we have to move from a great experience to deeper engagement. By deeper engagement, it means the more often a consumer or a small business needs to converse or to transact with a financial institution, the more likely it is they're going to use you going forward, as well as not use competitors as much.

From your perspective, what's the biggest challenge you see out there facing financial institutions today from the standpoint of moving forward? The reason they say, ‘Not now,’ or, ‘There's a challenge in implementation.’

MK: Really, the biggest challenge is inertia, but you can't let inertia or fear stop you from moving your business forward. If you think about bill pay, I was at your conference here a couple weeks ago in Vegas and did a presentation on payments and money movement. One of the things that I talked about was the age of some of the technologies that are currently in place today.

I won't say the vendor's name but I put up a screen of their bill pay experience when it launched 25 years ago. Before I could pass to the next slide, which was a more modern version of this, someone in the audience said, ‘Wow! It looks like the same experience as it does today.’ And so, when you think about that experience for the consumer and you're running a 25-year-old experience for bill pay? That's not good.

That's why consumers are less engaged with some of their digital banking experiences and they're going out to other providers. Because they're more modern, they're faster, they're simpler, et cetera. And so, to your point, that engagement piece is critical to support that retention and loyalty. But you have to have a service provider, you have to have the technology and the user experience to drive that engagement.

Want more? Check out the full webinar for further insights into the growth of real-time payments and how today’s financial institutions can and should prepare.