Future Proofing Faster Payments

by Sarah Grotta 0

faster payments

Faster payments, instant payments or real time payments (pick your preferred title) are still new to the U.S. market, so now is the time to consider an approach to future proof the developing platforms to remain relevant for years to come.  It is tempting to build for the near-term business cases that will attract transactions that ignite the use and profitability. The right insight is needed to help prevent an expensive and disruptive overhaul in the future as needs and requirements shift.  Finextra reported on an unfortunate outage experienced by the UK’s Faster Payments platform over the past weekend that may provide some valuable insights:

The UK’s Faster Payments system has not been so fast for some customers this week thanks to a system failure on Sunday that has seen thousands of transactions take two days to process. 

The Faster Payments Scheme, which is used by all the major UK banks, says that it experienced “intermittent issues with its central infrastructure” for four and a half hours on Sunday afternoon.

The “vast majority” of the backlog payments were processed later that day but, nearly two days later, around 8000 were still outstanding. 

The Faster Payments Scheme launched over 8 years ago, which in terms of technology is generations old.  The builders and designers of the platform could not predict the demands of regulatory requirements brought on by PSD2 and GDPR as examples, or the sheer volume of transactions. But the outcome will be expensive and likely disruptive.  Despite the billions of GBP already spent on the UK’s national payments platform, more will be required to rebuild much of the system. The Faster Payments organization has already begun to reach out to the industry in search of partners to build their next generation service.  More on that here.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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