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5 Things to Watch in Payments in 2024

Kristen Jason, Director of Product Marketing, Alacriti


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5 Things to Watch in Payments in 2024


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The financial industry is witnessing a transformative era in payment processing, with instant payment networks such as the RTP® network and the FedNow® Service at the forefront of this evolution. As we proceed in 2024, several key trends are emerging that credit unions should watch closely. Here are five crucial developments to keep an eye on:


1. Increase in Instant Payments Adoption

The demand for instant payments is skyrocketing, with consumers and businesses seeking faster, more efficient transaction methods. The Clearing House’s RTP network and the Federal Reserve's FedNow Service are at the forefront, providing platforms that enable real-time money movement. With 485 banks and credit unions live on the RTP system and FedNow rapidly gaining traction with over 400 financial institutions, we can expect a substantial increase in the adoption of instant payments this year. In addition, 50% of RTP volume is processed outside traditional banking hours, showing that the value of real-time payments doesn’t just lie in the immediacy of funds. It’s also about the 24/7/365 availability of the networks. 


Other benefits of instant payments beyond speed include improved liquidity management, enhanced transparency, and the potential for new revenue streams through value-added services. As a result, FIs are increasingly investing in the necessary infrastructure and technology to support instant payment capabilities. In a survey conducted by Alacriti during an American Banker webinar, results indicated that a majority of institutions are leaning towards both sending and receiving instant payments, with 38.5% indicating this preference. Another 26.6% have reported no current plans but are still investigating the possibilities. The survey also revealed that 42.9% of respondents were in the process of preparing their banks for real-time payments. Credit unions need to consider both rails, looking beyond simply receiving funds to the broader strategic implications of fully enabling instant payments and including Send and Request for Payment functionality.


Maintaining the status quo isn’t much of an option anymore. Businesses will leave their current FI to access real-time capabilities:


2. Investment in Payment Technology

To stay competitive and relevant, FIs are ramping up their investment in payment technology. According to Datos Insights, only 6% of financial institutions do not plan on investing in payments technology in the next 24-37 months. At the same time, businesses are going to continue to invest in improving payment technology, with 94% of businesses expecting at least a somewhat significant investment in payment technology in the next 24-36 months. Credit unions that are not positioning how their tools can solve the primary business problems of businesses are missing out on valuable market share.


Investments include upgrading payment rails to accommodate faster transactions, integrating automation tools to streamline processes, and adopting the ISO 20022 standard for richer data exchange. ISO 20022 is a globally accepted messaging standardization approach (methodology, process, repository) to be used by all financial standards initiatives as a common platform for the development of messages.


One of the key drivers of this investment is the need to enhance the customer experience. With consumers expecting seamless, frictionless payment experiences, FIs are focusing on technologies that can deliver these expectations. This includes the development of mobile payment solutions, contactless payment options, and advanced security measures to protect against fraud.


3. Operational Transformation for Real-Time Processing

Implementing instant payments, of course, necessitates operational changes. Real-time processing requires robust systems that can handle the increased speed and volume of transactions. Credit unions must also adapt their liquidity management strategies to accommodate the instantaneous movement of funds.


Compliance with regulatory requirements remains a critical consideration. As the payments landscape evolves, so too do the regulatory frameworks governing it. Credit unions must ensure that their systems and processes are compliant with the latest regulations to avoid penalties and maintain member trust.


4. Expanding Use Cases for Instant Payments

As instant payments become more widespread, FIs are exploring new use cases that can leverage the benefits of real-time transactions. This includes areas such as loan disbursements, where instant payments can provide immediate access to funds, and payroll services, where employees can receive their earnings instantly.


Other potential use cases include insurance claim payouts, B2B transactions, and gig economy payments. By identifying and promoting these use cases, FIs can demonstrate the value of instant payments to their customers and drive further adoption.


5. Modernization of Cross-Border Payments

Cross-border payments have traditionally been slow, expensive, and cumbersome. However, there is a growing push to modernize these transactions, driven by the adoption of ISO 20022 and the emergence of new technologies. In 2024, we can expect to see significant advancements in cross-border payment capabilities, with FIs offering faster, more transparent, and cost-effective solutions.


The modernization of cross-border payments is not just about speed; it's also about improving the overall experience for consumers and businesses. This includes providing better visibility into transaction fees, exchange rates, and payment status, as well as enhancing security and compliance measures.


The payments industry is set for a transformative year in 2024, with instant payments, technological investments, operational changes, expanded use cases, and cross-border payment modernization rising as top considerations. Investment levels by both financial institutions and businesses in improving payments technology are incredibly strong, making payments modernization more relevant than ever to keep market share. Credit unions that adapt their payment strategies accordingly will be well-positioned to succeed.


Alacriti’s centralized payment platform, Orbipay Payments Hub, provides innovation opportunities and the ability to make smart routing decisions at the financial institution to meet their individual needs. Financial institutions can take full ownership of their payments and control their evolution with ACH, Wire, TCH’s RTP® network, Visa Direct, and the FedNow® Service, all on one cloud-based platform. To speak with an Alacriti payments expert, please contact us at (908) 791-2916 or


Author Information:

Kristen Jason

Director of Product Marketing

Kristen is responsible for marketing strategy and content for Alacriti while staying abreast of industry trends. She offers over 18 years of marketing experience, including 9 years of experience in financial technology and payments. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and Business Administration from Florida A&M University and an M.B.A from the University of Central Florida.


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