5 Key Takeaways from AFP Conference 2019

29 October 2019

AFP Annual Conference drew a huge number of attendees this year and packed a lot into three days. People came from far and wide to attend and discuss all things payments, risk and treasury, among other topics. This was Icon Solutions’ first year sponsoring AFP and it was most definitely worth our while! Here are the five key takeaways we took from the event:

  1. Corporates and real-time payments. Many view the monetary value ceiling for payments as a key barrier for real-time payments adoption and this will only be lifted once the payments limits of $25,000 are raised.  Corporates will not take real-time payments seriously until this happens.
  2. The insurance industry – early adopters? When it comes to real-time payments or immediate payments solutions we could learn a lot from paying attention to the initiatives happening in the insurance industry.  They have multiple use cases where the only viable option is electronic transfer and, in many cases, same day ACH is not quick enough.
  3. Waiting for FedNow will be a minority option. While some institutions see the FedNow service as an excuse for them to put off their investments in modernisation and real-time, many see it as an opportunity.  With timeframes proposed for 2024 this has become the unofficial mandate banks were looking for.  Institutions can’t wait until FedNow is live to start their real-time payments process.  If they do, they will be left behind.
  4. Everyone loves ISO 20022.  It seems while not everyone is keen on real-time payments the one thing everyone is excited for is the new ISO standards.  Corporates and financial institutions alike see this as a great leap in data mining for their customers and their own business lines.  In fact, they see this as the beginning of their modernisation journey with real-time payments as the end product.
  5. Pursuing retail real-time payments.  Retail banks are hot to pursue retail real-time payments through Zelle, with 600 banks signed up so far and more coming thick and fast. In wholesale banking, banks are keen to reduce costs through check and cash reductions. They are also looking at introducing new services (such as real-time payroll and billpay) which will naturally shift volumes from ACH and Wire – while potentially protecting margins.

If you would like to talk through any of these points in more detail, or possibly highlight something that we haven’t included here, then please get in touch with one of our payments experts today.

We are looking forward to attending AFP in Boston next year already!

Jason Hayes