New ABA Survey Finds Few Banks Have Formal Payments Strategies

Just 13 percent of banks have a formalized payments strategy in place, according to a new survey released today at ABA’s inaugural Payments Forum in Washington, D.C. Forty-six percent said they were planning to adopt a formal strategy, while 41 percent said that they had no plans to do so.

“While we’re concerned that many banks don’t have a formal payments strategy in place, we’re not entirely surprised,” said ABA VP Steve Kenneally. “The point of the survey was to develop a baseline. Now that we know where things stand, we can help identify solutions and get our members where they need to be.”

Bankers noted that the greatest impediments to implementing payments strategies were reliance on third-party core system providers, technical integration issues and limited resources. Many also expressed concerns about data security and privacy; identity theft and data breaches were ranked as the highest threat to payment security.

When asked to characterize their bank’s approach to payments, 36 percent of the survey’s 200 respondents said they considered themselves to be “fast followers,” while 54 percent said they were taking a “wait and see” approach. Just 3 percent of respondents consider their banks to be “first movers/experimenters.” Thirty percent reported partnering with fintech companies in either commercial or consumer payments, or both.

“The survey results show that community banks have a lot of work to do here,” added ABA SVP Christopher McClinton. “The good news is that ABA offers payments solutions and opportunities to partner with fintechs to help banks keep up with customer expectations.” ABA endorses a suite of payments solutions through its Corporation for American Banking subsidiary.

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