New benchmark data, “2018 Global Payments Insight Survey: Cross-Vertical,” from ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW) and Ovum reveals that 86 percent of banks, 82 percent of billing organizations and 78 percent of merchants expect to see improvements in their customer service as a result of real-time payments.
Comprised of responses from executives across the merchant, digital goods, hospitality, telecom and travel sectors, the benchmark also revealed that 51 percent of all merchants, billing organizations and retail banks will increase their IT budgets for payments-related projects in 2018.
Other findings from the study include:
Marked change in attitudes toward open banking and real-time payments in the past year:
- 87 percent of all banks report that they have a clear strategy for developing open APIs, up from 59 percent a year ago
- At a global level, 78 percent of banks, 72 percent of billing organizations, and 68 percent of merchants believe that the combination of real-time payments and open banking will see the reliance on payment cards decline over time.
- 76 percent of merchants and 74 percent of billing organizations report that they have a clear strategy to leverage customer data and other services that are becoming available through open banking initiatives
Open banking and real-time payments will drive customer service improvements:
- 86 percent of banks are now either experiencing or expect to see improvements in their customer service, up from 61 percent in 2017
- At a global level, 92 percent of merchants and 82 percent of billing organizations with annual revenues of $5bn and greater expect to see customer service improvements as a result of real-time payments
- This view is held by 82 percent of billing organizations (up from 48 percent in 2017) and 78 percent of merchants (up from 59 percent)
- At a regional level, merchants, retail banks and billing organizations are most positive about real-time payments, with 84 percent expecting customer service improvements and 81 percent benefits around operating costs
- Over 90 percent of billing organizations and merchants will continue to invest in projects to add greater personalization into the customer experience
- 82 percent of all banks also report that this is a high focus area for their institution.
“Open banking and real-time payments are set to shape the payments industry in a big way, and the potential upside to both consumers and businesses is enormous,” said Alex Hoffmann, senior vice president, ACI Worldwide. “The Ovum survey has shown that retail banks, billing organizations and merchants are already beginning to experience the benefits and see the advantage of investing in the future of these technologies.”
“The complex operating environment of the modern world has created several challenges for businesses,” said Kieran Hines, head of industries, Ovum. “The findings in this study highlight some important steps that all should consider to ensure they are prepared to meet these challenges.”