Celent: Real-Time Everything May Hit Mobile Payments Soon

March 22, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Real-time is a phrase that often ends up on the floor of consciousness as yet another buzzword, some random bit of jargon someone cooked up to keep meddling bosses from pushing too hard into someone’s project. It’s actually quite a bit more than that, and a new report from Celent notes that real-time may be coming to mobile payments near you.

Celent’s report, “A Real-Time Hub for a Real-Time Everything Future,” runs down some of the biggest issues facing real-time and our response to it. Celent’s been neck-deep in real-time for years now, starting with an earlier report in which it asserted that real-time payments were not, in fact, “…a localized, passing fad.”

The report notes that real-time payments have been developing steadily, including the first transactions for the European payment scheme known as SEPA Inst back in 2017. The United States will start getting in later this year with The Clearing House RTP, and Australia only recently got in with NPP back in January.  Several countries, at last report, are actually planning for an upcoming future in which all payments are real-time, and those who already have plans for a real-time future in place already are ramping them up to accommodate vastly improved volumes.

With the rapid growth of application programming interfaces (APIs) in the development of such operations, it’s got some calling for a real-time hub for such payments, especially as the APIs involved only get more complex and start extending beyond mobile payments. A hub would be able to operate not only as an API integrator, but also as a means for more banks to go completely digital.

While it would be welcome news to have payments process faster—anyone else think it’s a travesty that the check you deposit in the bank might not be available to you for up to three days?—an increasingly digital frontier for banking may not be so welcome. We’ve already seen active pushback—banks like Bank of America are planning to open more branches—and we’ll likely see more as Generation Z increasingly prefers cash and brick-and-mortar to digital everything like the millennials.

Still, only time will tell, in the end, and Celent’s offered up a look at a future that’s got a lot more real-time to it.