Tuesday , January 26, 2021

With Real-Time Networks on the Way, Processors Prepare to Give Businesses a Piece of the Action

As consumers adopt real-time payments in the coming years, payments providers are expecting businesses large and small to follow suit. News released Monday indicates preparations are already under way. Canadian processor Everlink Payments Services Inc. and Fintainium Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based developer of cloud-based technologies for financial institutions, have agreed to develop real-time capability for transfers between businesses and from businesses to consumers.

The new capability will follow the new ISO 20022 global payments standard, the companies said Monday, and will leverage technology from each company: the accounts receivable and payables management platform from Fintainium and the eHUB digital-payments platform developed by Everlink.

The resulting service will enable businesses to send or request bulk or single payments in real time without high investment costs, the companies said. “Together, Fintainium and Everlink provide an offering which will enhance automated efficiency and cost savings for our mutual banking, credit union, and [small-and-medium-size business] customers,” says Richard Jackman, Fintainium’s chief executive, in a statement.

Markham, Ontario-based Everlink processes for more than 90% of Canadian credit unions as well as for banks and independent sales organizations. The company says it processes all tokenized mobile debit card transactions on Canada’s national Interac network and maintains links to some 14 payment networks altogether. Its owners are Co-Op Financial Services, a credit union service organization based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Celero Solutions, a Calgary, Alberta-based technology provider for financial institutions.

The two companies cite recent developments in support of their joint venture, which comes as the Covid-19 pandemic is reshaping payments expectations and preferences. In Canada, some 21% more businesses opted to accept e-Transfer transactions on the Interac network in August than in February, according to network data the companies cite. Interac e-Transfers enable instant payments triggered by a text or email message. 

Also, experts expect B2B and B2C real-time payments to follow quickly on the increasing appetite for consumer-initiated payments. “As consumers have positive experiences transacting with faster payments products that facilitate [person-to-person] payments and other retail use cases, demand for faster payments for B2C and B2B use cases will also increase,” notes a recent report from Aite Group, a Boston-based research firm.

“We will continue to see more players emerge that are trying to capture more of the [real-time] payments market share as there is lots to go around,” says Erika Baumann, senior wholesale banking analyst at Aite and one of the authors of the report.

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