Instant payments and pandemic readiness — how COVID shift the fintech?

While banks have been forced to change original instant payment strategies in order to prioritise Covid-19 contingency plans, a key lesson to learn from the current circumstances lies in the success experienced by financial institutions whose instant payment systems were already established or well underway.

Rather than being hindered by the challenges of the pandemic, the crisis has also demonstrated the art of the possible for banks.

By incorporating instant payments into their service and operational mix early on, these firms had pre-emptively solved a number of complex challenges brought on by Covid-19. Among these were cost-efficiency, 24x7x365 support, round-the-clock operation of payment and core banking systems, real-time liquidity management, ISO 20022 fluency, and high levels of straight-through processing.

Many of these institutions also adopted newer, more resilient cloud-based technology, making it easier to deliver new products and services to their markets, creating more durable customer relationships.

In retrospect, it is not surprising that when the time came for financial institutions to close their doors and send fleets of employees to work remotely, those who had already modernised with instant payments discovered that they were agile enough to seamlessly adapt to the fundamental operational changes driven by the crisis, and to efficiently shape their services to cater to changing market expectations.

In this sense, the integration and uptake of instant payments at this time provides something of a litmus test for financial institutions’ ability to compete in the brave new post-pandemic world of contactless, real-time, data-rich 24x7 payments interactions. #fintech #analyze #covid19

JCash co-founder, fintech/blockchain expert. Interested in innovations in digital payments and AI technologies.