Faster payments are straining capacity and heaping workload onto banking systems. New payment methods, like mobile and digital wallets, are changing the characteristics and quantities of the transactions banks expect to process. The steady decline of cash is shifting how consumers and businesses use money in their day-to-day lives. And all the while, governments are striving to extend financial inclusion, providing bank accounts for all to ensure no individual is left behind in the cashless, digital societies of the future.
In response, financial institutions have been working both together and individually to improve and develop networks that can cater to changing demand and behavior. There is real motivation for them to upgrade their systems to deliver the best end user experiences because in the simplest terms, banking customers know what they want and, if they don’t get it, will happily go elsewhere. However, banking systems are not the only technological infrastructure monoliths that need updating and transformation they can only do so much. The national banking infrastructure that underpins all of this activity needs to modernize, too.
Most central banking networks were built to service an out dated payments landscape. They were developed and deployed for a single payment methods, with each method having its own scheme infrastructure and operating rules. They are not capable of handling different channels or payment types, and they cannot process payments on a real-time basis.
Regardless of their position on the real-time readiness curve, many players in the payments value chain face the challenge of articulating the business case for real-time payments, which lies in a multi-phased, strategic deployment that goes beyond meeting basic regulatory requirements.