Until recently, the payments industry has seen only five milestone innovations: checks, wire transfers, credit cards, debit cards, and automated clearinghouse (ACH), says Ian Macallister, vice president/head of customer experience and sales for Zelle.
“ACH was the last innovation, and that was 45 years ago,” says Macallister, who led an industry trends breakout session Tuesday at the America’s Credit Union Conference at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. “Debit has been in play for more than 50 years.”
Real-time payments is the latest milestone driving payments innovations for credit unions. It’s the driving force behind person-to-person (P2P) payments. “You need payments in real-time, and that’s where the industry is headed,” he says.
Several factors are moving the industry toward P2P, including an increased desire for convenience, technological advancements, the maturing millennial generation, and movement toward a cashless society, Macallister says.
“We’re seeing P2P go from millennials to mainstream,” he says, citing research that shows 50% of first-time P2P users are age 45 or older. “That’s the opportunity.”
P2P services drive digital engagement among members and lead to greater brand awareness and an improved ability to attract and retain members, Macallister says.
“P2P is already table stakes.”