Survey: Businesses Prioritize Real-Time Payments Access

In a new survey from Providence, Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group, business leaders said that a bank’s ability to provide access to real-time payment and settlement services was the second-most-important factor when choosing a banking partner, after a bank’s ability to provide solutions throughout the business life cycle. Survey respondents overwhelmingly agreed that 24/7 payments will play a significant role in the future, with 81% saying they expect them to “dramatically transform the way business is done.” Just 9% said they have no plans to implement real-time payments in their own business operations.

Businesses surveyed—which included firms with revenues of $1 million and up—said they anticipate using faster payments most for managing cash flow more accurately (52%) and conducting general accounts payable activities (46%). Many also anticipated using this payment channel to help with payroll (43%), to facilitate payments requiring immediate receipt (42%) and improve collection activity and posting to clients’ accounts (40%).

The survey also suggested that real-time payments is affecting the corporate outlook on checks. Thirty-eight percent said a common use of real-time payments would be to replace check payments, and two-thirds said they expect that they will eventually stop making or accepting payments with cash or paper checks.