WesPay Study Finds Low Awareness and Adoption of U.S. Faster Payments Solutions

Findings highlight the need for coordinated industry efforts to raise awareness and define a roadmap for financial institutions and businesses planning to employ faster settlement solutions

A survey of 430 financial institutions in the Western United States conducted online in February 2017 by WesPay, the trade association for electronic payments compliance and operational sound practices, found awareness and adoption of faster payments solutions among its members remains low. For Same Day ACH, a majority (57%) of respondents indicated that the September 2016 implementation of faster credits “has had no measurable impact on our customers/members’ transactions.” When asked about the Federal Reserve Faster Payment Task Force, 34% indicated they were unaware of the initiative and 46% indicated that they had only high-level knowledge.

While there is low awareness of many current initiatives, financial institutions are recognizing that faster payments are the future of the industry. A significant majority (60%) of respondents replied that faster payments initiatives are “an important development in the industry, however, our institution will be watching to see which platform becomes the standard.”

“There are promising faster payments solutions and significant innovation emerging, but most financial institutions are taking a wait-and-see approach,” said Bill Schoch, President & CEO of WesPay. “WesPay has been a leader in aiding financial institutions, third-party payment providers, and services organizations to make strategic payments-related decisions for their organizations, but clearly more work needs to be done at the grassroots level,” added Mr. Schoch. “There is a need for industry groups to ramp-up efforts to expand faster payments awareness through communications and education.”

As a result of these survey findings, WesPay is planning to launch a new series of events and communications in 2017 and 2018 designed to:

  • Raise awareness of bank-centric faster payments solutions
  • Support members’ efforts to develop strategies for employing faster payments solutions
  • Explore applications for customers’ use of faster payments solutions
  • Educate members on the requirements of the rules for participation in various faster payments networks

This inclusive program will prepare members for faster payments initiatives and aid in ubiquitous adoption.

WesPay is a direct member of NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association and has been working with members to prepare for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of Same Day ACH, which is slated for September 2017 and March 2018, respectively. WesPay is also a member of the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force, which is an industry coalition of diverse stakeholders working to identify and assess alternative approaches for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments capabilities in the United States. The Task Force released part one of its Progress Report in January 2017.

The survey, conducted in February 2017, was delivered to more than 1,000 financial institutions in the United States to gain insight into the resources and focus that organizations are allocating to faster payments initiatives.