The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) was the latest multi-stakeholder group to approve a real-time payments initiative in support of evolving consumer and business needs for accelerated transacting. As noted in Javelin’s recently released report, Real-Time Payments 2013: Struggling Toward Revolutionary Change, many of the payments mechanisms in use today — as well as the networks that support them — were developed before the era of “always on” connectivity, before Internet commerce, and prior to the ubiquity of mobile devices. These new market components, however, are driving a global paradigm shift that is beginning to snowball. The APAC initiative, which was approved in February 2013, will promote development of a core payments and messaging infrastructure governed by a newly-formed industry clearing utility.

The utility, which will be operated on a sustainable cost-recovery basis, will utilize ISO messaging standards and incorporate an address reference tool to enable payments to be directed without a recipient account number. Industry testing is anticipated by 2015 with live production in early 2016. The initial focus will be on consumer payments through mobile channels. While it’s encouraging to see another global initiative coming to fruition there are others in place internationally that are already demonstrating success. In the U.K., for example, the Faster Payments Service (FPS) was launched in May 2008 and grew to represent more than 85% of U.K. phone and Internet payments by year-end 2011. FPS volume further climbed 54% from 2011 to year-end 2012.

Javelin’s Real-Time Payments report also reviews a number of domestic and global initiatives that are active in the market today, although many at the quite nascent level. Technology changes and market expectations, though, will force the pace of change to accelerate and soon APAC’s 2016 scenario may seem too long a roadmap for enabling a competitively viable real-time alternative.

Author

About Beth Robertson

Beth Robertson, CCM, is a Senior Consultant in Javelin's Payments practice area. With nearly 30 years of experience in financial services, Beth works with clients to gain strategic insights into payment trends, including evolving services and strategies, implications for ACH, and exploring alternative payment systems.

Beth’s prior experience includes:

  • Partner and Managing Director of Camino Consulting, advising clients on a wide array of payments services, including enterprise payment services and strategy, delivery channels, and related financial service industry initiatives such as business strategy, product positioning, and market entry;
  • Senior Manager at First Annapolis Consulting, Inc., advising leading financial services institutions and vendors about payments services, positioning, and strategy;
  • Business Director for Banking and Payments, as well as Research Director in the Global Payments Practice at TowerGroup, focusing on traditional, online, and alternative payment services and on fraud detection and risk management in the online channel;
  • PSI Global, Vice President and Manager of the Billing and Payments Research Practice; Consulting Director, managing major research and consulting projects focused on payments services and online delivery;
  • Various management roles at Exxon Company USA, Trans Data Corporation, and at Maryland National Bank.

Beth has delivered numerous executive presentations for clients and at major financial services industry conferences and has been quoted in many news services and journals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CBS Marketwatch, National Public Radio, American Banker, CNN.com, and Banking Strategies magazine. She previously served on the Steering Committee and as Chair of NACHA’s Council for Electronic Billing and Payment.

Beth received an M.B.A. from Salisbury University and holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Business Administration from McDaniel College. She is a permanently certified cash manager (CCM), receiving her accreditation from the Association of Financial Professionals in 1986.

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