Catalyst News

Becoming Part of ‘Faster Payments Chain’ Crucial Amidst Digital Shift, Says Aptys’ Eric Dotson

by Catalyst Corporate | Oct 05, 2021

A “tsunami” of change, brought about by conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused consumers to flock to digital engagement channels, Eric Dotson told attendees at Catalyst Corporate’s recent Economic & Payments Forum.

“The digital shift we are seeing now was happening before the pandemic, but at a slower pace,” noted Dotson, who is the EVP at Aptys Solutions. “Overnight it seemed like consumer expectations changed and old habits disappeared. Very quickly, many consumers realized they needed to be able to interact with their financial institutions in a way they hadn't before.” 

An article published in CUToday.info recapped Dotson’s presentation and pointed to data from McKinsey that shows consumers vaulted five years forward with digital adoption in just 18 weeks during the health crisis.

Dotson emphasized that credit unions need to become part of the faster payments chain, and that means being connected with real-time payments, according to the article.

“Twenty four percent of consumers say that they would consider switching to a different financial institution for faster payments,” he said, pointing out faster payments are expected to go from three billion transactions in 2021 to eight billion in 2025.

New data also shows mobile transactions have caught up to the volumes previously seen in branches, Dotson added.

That includes an increase in person-to-person (P2P) transactions, with 79 percent of consumers saying they use the service. Yet despite the popularity, Dotson noted there’s a paradox at work, as one survey found 47 percent of consumers were unaware of whether their financial institution offers the payment option.

P2P payments and cryptocurrency will both play roles in the rise of faster payments, according to Dotson.

“The U.S. market is trailing a lot of other countries that have already implemented real-time payments,” the CUToday.info article quoted Dotson as saying. “And I'm not talking two, three or four countries, but 20 or 30. Many countries are offering the service in addition to touchless payments, such as QR codes. This is not really about improving sales; it is more about improving the customer experience.”

What does all that mean? Dotson emphasized credit unions must evaluate their strategic priorities.

“If you're a credit union and you want to succeed in this digital-first environment, you must quickly reset your digital agendas to meet new member needs for engagement,” he said. “It is time to point your digital firepower at the right targets.”

The Forum is over, but the good information presented during this year’s event lives on.

For a limited time, credit unions can access select presentations featuring thought leadership on timely payment and investment topics, such as The Rise of Self-Service Banking and Digital & Payments Transformations, along with Using External Capital to Propel Growth and Appraising Lending Portfolios and the Impact for Credit Unions. Contact your Catalyst Corporate account representative for information about on-demand access to those presentations.