The promise land for finallyreducing the number of checks that businesses use to make payments may betaking a step closer to reality. Thatis, if you subscribe to the recent work of the Remittance Coalition, aconsortium of over 400 payments stakeholders that have developed a concept forthe B2B Payments Directory.
In an article published for theAssociation for Financial Professional (AFP) entitled “Howa New Public Utility Can Transform B2B Payments” the authors highlight the group’s efforts to build autility to more effectively connect payees and payers through what ispositioned as a “electronic payments facilitator”.
As an offshoot of the Fed’s recentfaster payments efforts, the Remittance Coalition has taken the lead inthinking through the challenges presented to businesses looking to move awayfrom checks and have begun the process to offer a new proof of concept. “Think of the directory as a phonebook for electronic payment information” referring to the B2B Payments Directory. “Iteliminates one barrier to seamless e-payments by making payment informationreadily available, secure and easily updated. It’s not a payment system; it’s adatabase of payees.”
Faster payments in the U.S. has taken on new life thisyear. The RemittanceCoalition has moved the discussion forward to address ways to make real stridesin decreasing the number of checks for businesses. They have taken a good approach and looked atthe true obstacles in the system in order to present their thoughts to the market. Solving the broader problem of fasterpayments is going to be challenging but by taking an approach that facilitatesany payment network decisions in the future, the B2B Payments Directory is agood start.
Overview by Rick Hall, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments for Mercator Advisory Group
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