Payments trends banks need to be aware of in 2024

Thought Leadership· 3min January 8, 2024

The past year has seen a range of innovations brought to the forefront of payments technology, but the financial sectors have also had challenges to contend with. 

Looking ahead to 2024, Matt Tuck, Chief Commercial Officer, Form3, outlines what he believes will shape the banking sector’s approach over the next 12 months.

In the payments industry today, customers’ expectations and needs are ever changing and banks must ensure they continue to innovate and deliver to ensure they are able to retain and grow their customer numbers and revenues. Looking forward, with uncertain economic conditions forecast for 2024, things aren’t likely to get much easier as they seek to strike a balance between continuing with their technology transformation journeys while keeping their budgets under control. 

With customers expecting continual improvements in the services they use and the product sets they have access to, standing still isn’t an option. In addition, the ever-shifting regulatory sands have to be monitored and banks must also stay on the front foot in their fight in areas like fraud. Here are some of the key trends that will be high on banks’ agendas throughout 2024. 

Addressing technology transformation

One key issue for banks in 2024 is how they can update and replace their existing technology stack while keeping their services running, minimising disruption for customers. Banks also need to make tough decisions about whether they handle their transformation programmes in house, or whether they lean on specialist partners to manage these upgrades with them. 

Cloud based platform solutions are becoming much more prevalent in the banking world and collaborations between banks and technology companies are easier to facilitate, with solutions able to be designed and deployed in a matter of months rather than years.

As well as flexibility, cloud services also offer increased scalability and resilience to banks. Resilience is something that regulators are paying close attention to both in the UK and Europe, as well as in the US. Banks have to be 24/7 and any impacts to critical financial services, especially payments, are simply not acceptable, with any disruption creating significant losses for customers and the economy.

As we move forward into 2024, banks and financial institutions must harness the flexibility and resilience of the cloud. Modular, microservices-based infrastructure is easier to build, maintain and fix; for banks to effectively adapt to the 24/7, always-on real-time payment future they need to build in the cloud. Utilising partnerships with third-party experts can give them a competitive edge here in terms of deployment speed and functionality. 

Managing risk in 2024

While, in the past, the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) in banks and financial institutions would have been spending much of their time considering the risk around issues like credit and investments, they are now increasingly also having to look at resiliency and contingency. 

Banks are being targeted by online criminals at an unprecedented rate. Cybercriminals are not only trying to steal money, but also trying to impact banks’ systems. With the upcoming changes to APP fraud regulations – leading to both sending and receiving banks being responsible for compensating victims – it’s crucial for the CRO to have as many protections in place as possible. With any disruption to banking services likely to be headline news, CRO’s will be focused on ensuring that resilience is at the forefront of their priorities.

Banks must have contingency plans that demonstrate to regulators that they will always be able to send and receive payments on behalf of their customers. To this end, they must implement systems that guarantee this resilience. While cloud-based platforms are typically better for this than proprietary, legacy on-premise hardware, banks that are serious about resilience should be thinking about multiple clouds, rather than just one. 

Innovations in payments over the year ahead

Continual innovation is necessary for banks that want to retain and grow their customer numbers and revenues. Payments is the battleground to win and retain customer value and customer loyalty. If the payments aspect of the customer relationship isn’t competitive, a bank could lose the customer value altogether. 

Customers expect and deserve real-time access at their fingertips. This requires significant upgrades not only to the bank’s in-house capability, but also with the actual payment chain between themselves and other different individual banks and payment schemes. That end-to-end value chain for customers has become top of mind; a lot of banks are thinking about payment transformation, with seamless, real-time payments not just within countries but also across borders. 

There are, of course, some global players in the payment space that don’t come from a traditional banking background. Technology companies big and small are able to innovate and move faster than most financial institutions because agility is part of their DNA. While these organisations pose a threat to traditional banks, they have helped banks to realise the benefits of operating more efficiently, and with new technologies. This trend will need to continue if banks are going to remain competitive.

From a geographical perspective, we’re seeing different rates of innovation in the real-time payment space, but, ultimately, the trend will only increase, therefore banks need to be transforming now to maximise the opportunity and meet their customers’ demands. 

Takeaway

Think cloud-first to build resilience, lower risk and foster innovation. Continued innovation and technology transformation remain core for banks. Always on, digital access across the product range is key for banks, so continued investment in front-end customer offerings will be critical for banks. This will allow them to focus on value-added services, working with partners to deliver the full end-to-end infrastructure.

Written by

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Matt Tuck Chief Commercial Officer

Matt is the Chief Commercial Officer at Form3 responsible for customer relations and growth across all of Form3’s key markets, delivering seamless payment technology and other related services available on Form3’s best in class cloud technology platform.

Prior to joining Form3, Matt was the head of Commercial Product, Service and Operations at Nat West responsible for all products and services delivered to Nat West’s commercial customers (SME up to multi-national corporates and financial institutions), including payments. Additionally, he was responsible for first line conduct, regulatory and operational risk, reporting to the Commercial Bank CEO.

Earlier roles include CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s UK, European and US business and the head of Barclays Global Corporate Banking. Matt began his banking career at Barclays in the late 1980’s before spending time at JP Morgan, Citibank and Deutsche bank in operations, sales, coverage and leadership roles across a wide product range including Corporate Trust, securitisation, project finance, escrow and cash management. In addition to London, Matt has also worked in Asia based in Tokyo.
Matt has sat on a number of boards including as chair of Nat West Europe, non-executive on the Financial Alliance for Women (FAFW) board and on the board of Trustees of Football beyond borders (an educational children’s charity). Matt is married to Claire, has two boys, Owen and Lewis and enjoys playing veterans football and golf.