Cash & Liquidity Management
Published  9 MIN READ

Account-to-Account Payments Place Treasurers at the Heart of the Digital Payments Revolution

With non-cash payments on the rise, a jump in e-commerce business models, and real-time payment clearance systems increasingly prevalent, innovation is thriving in the retail payments space. A recent TMI webinar explored account-to-account payments to analyse how they can help treasurers support the digital transformation of their organisation.

The retail payments arena is in the middle of a golden age of innovation. The already transformative sector was supercharged by the Covid-19 pandemic, as companies raced to offer e-commerce stores and online payment options to retain and grow their customer base. As a result, the decrease in cash usage also accelerated during this time. In 2020, for example, data from trade association UK Finance shows that the number of cash payments made in the UK fell by 35%.[1]

Neil Pein, Global Head of Axepta and Head of Payments Transformation, BNP Paribas, notes that there are three key drivers of this payments revolution: “The first trend is the role that technology is playing, particularly with regard to immediacy. Payments used to take one day, and even more for cross-border, and now you can verify them through instant notifications. Then there is the digital revolution in smartphones, which have made payments almost invisible. This creates a high-quality integration for banks and payment service providers with the client. Finally, there is the evolution of regulation, through developments such as open banking, allowing startups to provide specific payment services.”

Todd Clyde, CEO, Token agrees with Pein, particularly on the immediacy point, noting that developments such as the adoption of real-time national clearance systems, such as Faster Payments in the UK or SEPA Instant in Europe, have had a tremendous impact.