Payments Speed and Security Acceleration Driven by Behavioral Expectations

Progress in the payments landscape is steady, with technology reshaping how transactions are conducted, driven by the pursuit of efficiency, security, and seamless customer experiences, according to PYMNTS.

Aaron LeHew, director of invoice-to-cash at Esker, discussed the key drivers, technological advancements, and challenges in payments modernization for the PYMNTS series «What’s Next in Payments: Payments Modernization.» LeHew identified three primary factors influencing the landscape: the demand for speed and convenience, the necessity of cybersecurity, and the growing popularity of advanced payment modalities like real-time payments.

«Customers are looking for more seamless, fast, and secure payment options and a better experience,» LeHew stated. «That is going to help push institutions to adopt new technologies that can help meet these expectations, such as mobile payments or even digital wallets.»

As cyber threats grow more sophisticated, institutions must invest in advanced security measures, including strong card authentication, encryption, and fraud detection systems. The popularity of real-time payments is also expected to gain traction in the U.S., enhancing financial agility by providing instant working capital.

LeHew emphasized the importance of integrating payment advances across existing infrastructures and payment networks. «One of the biggest things that organizations are looking for is, ‘How can I use my current infrastructure and the partnerships that I have?’» he said, highlighting the need for flexibility in accommodating various payment options.

The rising adoption of virtual cards is another trend in the U.S. Esker focuses on automating these processes to reduce labor intensity and expenses. «We are focused on helping our clients reduce the expenses of these cards,» LeHew explained, noting the role of technology in achieving lower fees.

Seamless integration of emerging payment modalities, such as digital wallets and virtual cards, with core banking systems is crucial. API-driven applications support secure integrations, while standardization efforts like ISO 20022 harmonize payment processing across platforms.

«Digital payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, are widely accepted in the consumer world and are starting to be introduced into the B2B space,» LeHew noted. «API-driven applications are going to be key to evolving and supporting these integrations into banking platforms securely.»

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence are set to revolutionize payments. AI is enhancing fraud detection and enabling predictive analysis, allowing vendors to offer different payment options based on customer behavior trends.

Despite the numerous options, companies must prioritize investments that create value for customers, focusing on solutions with strong returns on investment. Partnerships with FinTech companies are essential for driving payments modernization, enabling companies to remain agile and innovative.

LeHew concluded that by focusing on speed, security, and integration, companies can navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Strategic partnerships and investments in emerging technologies will be key to staying ahead in the future of payments.

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