Do you remember the town of Bedrock and the TV show, "The Flintstones"? Even if you do, you may not remember that the currency during those Stone Age years was clamshells. Well, these days, our currency seems to be making way for faster digital payments.
We've written in the past about the faster payments revolution and how many large national banks and regional banks are connected to Zelle and The Clearing House's RTP network, noting that many smaller institutions, too, have launched these services or are gearing up to. A recent survey shows just how far banks and credit unions have come in this area, underscoring the need for continued adoption among those that have been slow out of the gate.
Aite Group's online quantitative survey of 117 US community bank and credit union executives with responsibility for their institution's faster payments strategy provides interesting findings to show you how your institution stacks up.
Community banks. With respect to community banks, 59% say they have at least one faster payments rail and that at least one additional faster payments rail is a priority. Twenty-four percent say they don't have a faster payments rail, but having at least one is a priority. Meanwhile, 6% have at least one and aren't prioritizing another. Lastly, 12% don't have a faster payments rail and say having one is not a priority.
Credit unions. Forty-three percent of credit unions say they have at least one faster payments rail and that at least one additional faster payments rail is a priority. That compares with 39% that don't have a faster payments rail and say at least one is a priority; 16% say they have at least one faster payments rail and that no other faster payments rail is a priority.
Zelle increases. For those who may still have doubts about the importance of faster payments, here's some additional fodder for consideration. Bank of America's customers sent $39B through Zelle in Q3 -- up from $32B in the prior quarter. Additionally, more than 200 banks and credit unions have reportedly gone live on the Zelle Network via Fiserv Inc. this year. Also, the number of people sending money using Zelle was up 116%, while transactions rose by 207% in 2019 vs the year-earlier period, according to a Fiserv executive.
Overall, it seems institutions of various sizes and strengths are becoming participants in the faster payments landscape. This is good news since this is what is needed to stay competitive these days.