Do corporate treasurers want faster or real-time payments? The answer is a bit unclear. But with so many initiatives in play right now with the goal of speeding up payments in the United States, it’s undoubtedly on practitioners’ minds.
In the next few months, the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force will reveal the second part of its whitepaper, The Clearing House will launch its Real Time Payments (RTP) system, and NACHA will expand Same Day ACH to include debit transactions. All of that is kind of a perfect storm that will precede AFP 2017 in October, which is sure to have our biggest focus on payments ever.
For some time now, there has been a lot of talk about what’s coming in payments. So often we’ve heard that once [insert your amazing solution here] arrives, it’s going to change everything. That’s been the discussion year after year.
The difference this time is that it’s (almost) here. Or at least it will be by October, so we’ll have a lot to talk about at AFP 2017.
But do corporate treasurers care? Are they really interested in this, or is it all talk? After all, treasurers are typically people who make careful decisions and aren’t quick to jump on a bandwagon.
Overall, practitioners do seem to be interested—but in typical treasury fashion, they are simply taking a measured approach. They want to know all the variables. At a recent event, Charles Ellert, head of payments strategy for Verizon and a member of the AFP Conference Task Force, explained that his organization is interested in real time payments—and much, much more. “Verizon is concerned about a few key things: ubiquity, efficiency, security, ensuring that there’s a legal framework around things—as well as speed,” he said. “The governance process is also very important for us, because as the systems evolve we want to be part of that evolution.”
With this in mind, the Payments Track at AFP 2017 will be looking at the faster payments from all angles. Why should corporates care about real time, and what does it mean for your organization? Should your business take advantage of Same Day ACH Debits once they arrive? What’s in the Faster Payments Task Force’s new report, and what’s coming next? These and more questions will be addressed in multiple sessions.
New this year, we’ll also have the Payments Hub, a special area of the conference where attendees will find all things payments related. A number of educational sessions will be featured there, as well as the Payments Roundtable and Reception, and the Payments Breakfast. The hub also provides a space for payments technology developers to showcase their innovative solutions.
So as you can see, payments are going to be a major focus at AFP 2017. Faster payments will get a lot of attention in particular, because they’re finally becoming a reality in the U.S. So don’t miss out on your chance to join the conversation. Because change is coming—fast.