Since the industryâs decision to scrap the three-day clearing time for internet and telephone transactions and standing orders below Â£10,000, led by the Office of Fair Trading and driven by consumer pressure for immediacy and transparency, banks have invested significant resources in ensuring their systems are ready to offer the Faster Payments service. Indeed, APACS has indicated that the initiative is costing the banking industry an estimated Â£300 million to develop2.
However, whilst banks have been focusing on putting the technical infrastructure in place, news that 70 percent of consumers are ignorant about Faster Payments shows that the industry now needs to turn its attention to educating customers. This task is particularly pressing given the fact that the initiative is being viewed by participating financial institutions as a milestone for retail banking and an opportunity to differentiate their services in a highly competitive market.
Jim Woodworth, head of business solutions at ACI Worldwide, commented on the survey findings: âSeventy percent of people are completely unaware of this revolutionary initiative that has been designed with customer service in mind. As a result, the work that banks have been doing to introduce Faster Payments is going unnoticed. Instead of the inconvenience of the current three-day clearing time for the majority of payments, consumers will enjoy a new and more efficient way to pay bills and transfer money. Faster Payments gives banks a valuable opportunity to strengthen their customer relationships, maximise customer retention and improve their position in a competitive market â itâs time they started telling people about it.â