Reflections on the Evolution of Payments

Brian Laverdure

By Brian Laverdure, AAP, Director, Emerging Payments Education

Lately, evolution of payments is a constant topic of conversation. Looking at my calendar for October, I am attending no less than four events that will spend a significant amount of time talking about the journey from cash to checks to whatever awaits on the horizon. While this progress may seem inevitable at times, our industry’s travels along the path of faster payments are certainly not predetermined. During a recent trip back from one meeting about faster payments, I tried to consider where we are as an industry and where we are headed, and I could not help but think of words of wisdom from Andy Warhol.

I know you are thinking—what does Andy Warhol, famous painter of Campbell’s soup cans, have to do with faster payments? Warhol once remarked, “They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” I don’t know what sort of change Warhol was referencing when he made this statement, but his words nonetheless apply to the current state of payments. Time itself does not bring us the technology to send and receive real-time payments—all those successes come from the dedication of countless people across the industry striving to bridge differences and rally around common goals. But, as Warhol observed, change will not happen without active engagement from interested people. As the industry approaches the goal of faster payments ubiquity by 2020, I encourage everyone to take time to reflect on how their organizations are contributing to the debate about the future of payments in the United States.

Although many may think that their community financial institution is not participating at the same level as a larger national institution, rest assured that your voices are amplified by your membership in EPCOR. When I attend industry events, I do so as a representative of the thousands of financial institutions across the territory—the concerns of a small credit union in western Kansas or the foothills of Kentucky are just as important as those belonging to a bank with $50 billion in assets. But members can also play a more active role independently simply by taking advantage of all the knowledge and high-quality information you receive from your membership.

As we enter this eventful year and edge ever closer to 2020, EPCOR has several more educational opportunities to give you and your staff to simply help you start a conversation about faster payments. And this is my small ask of all readers—brew a pot of coffee and take 20 minutes to talk about where you see your institution and its payment needs in the next five years. If you need help starting that discussion, consider attending our EPCOR Payments Conference – Fall 2018 in Overland Park on October 24-26. There you will hear from leading voices in the industry like Tristan Thompson of UMB, Keith Gray of The Clearing House, and Jane Larimer of NACHA. Perhaps more importantly though, you will hear from similar voices as you network with peers and learn about how others think community banks and credit unions will navigate the new waters of expanded Same Day ACH, real-time payments, voice-assisted payment devices and the latest fraud trends.

Want to Learn More?

We have two webinar recordings that are sure to quench your thirst for more!Our two recordings, Faster Payments 2020: Are You Ready? and Regulatory Environment of Faster Payments are available now through December 31. Brian also hosts our Payments Pulse podcasts. Check out his podcast with Gabby Lindsey, AVP, Payments Product Manager at UMB! Knowledge is quickly becoming the most critical factor to success in the 21st century economy and EPCOR is ready to give you what you need to help foster changes in payments that will lead to a lasting and positive impact on all participants!