Seventy Percent of UK Population Hasn’t Heard of Faster Payments

17 April 2008

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading international provider of solutions for enterprise electronic payment systems, today announced the results of a YouGov1 survey that reveals 70 percent of UK consumers have never heard of UK banks’ imminent project to reduce the transaction clearing time for a number of payment types. This revelation comes just two months before the new retail banking initiative, Faster Payments, goes live and highlights the challenge still facing participating banks to educate their customers about the new service.

Since the industry’s decision to scrap the three-day clearing time for internet and telephone transactions and standing orders below £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 £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: “Seventy 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 – it’s time they started telling people about it.”

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