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Bank of America: Reflections From a Payments Product Designer

Payments innovation is getting a lot of attention, says Derrick Walton, Bank of America head of emerging payments in global transaction services. Read his thoughts on how technology, UX, and consumer preference are intersecting in the PYMNTS eBook, “Endemic Economic: 32 Payments Execs on the ‘Next Normal’ That Never Happened.”

Payments startups received nearly $32 billion in venture capital funding last year. On top of that are the additional investments that established payment companies, including banks like ourselves, also invested. Together, that makes for a vast amount of resources being directed to payments innovation. It’s truly awesome and inspiring, at least to a payments product designer like me, to consider how this is changing the world, and what impact recent investments have made and where new investments might be directed.

Cryptocurrencies and stablecoins

Not long ago these were arcane terms. Not anymore. We’re keeping a close watch on the public discussions and participating in industry comment on the use case of these payment types to support corporates, banks and the general public. Any regulation around them will provide clarity, which could lead to more investment and innovation.

Consumer-to-Business (C2B)

Consumers increasingly have greater options in terms of payment instruments. We are working on developments in this area where we see technology, user experience and preferences intersect.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Recent investments in this area have yielded meaningful results in the U.S. Alias-based payments, such as the bank’s Digital Disbursements solution, and the portal we created last year for consumers to select their choice of payment type, Recipient Select, are getting real traction. Consumers, including employees and gig economy workers, are demanding more choices and companies are eager to shed the burden of building the related infrastructure, preferring to focus their valuable resources elsewhere.

Cross-Currency Payments

The ability to send payments internationally remains challenging, yet future growth in global commerce depends on frictionless cross-currency payment solutions for consumers and businesses alike. Such solutions could be in the form of global real-time payments, digital wallets or tokenized payments.

Recipient Validation

When sending funds by ACH, wire or RTPs globally, it’s currently not possible in all markets to validate the payee information before the funds are actually sent. Being able to do so would reduce exceptions and improve the overall experience for consumers and businesses. We look forward to innovations in this area.


Along with the developments of the front-end experience, financial institutions and corporates
are investing in their payments architecture, either creating or redesigning it to accommodate the need for more capacity, greater transparency and faster processing. They must do this while ensuring they’re in compliance with the regulations of the respective country or region in which they operate. While complex and expensive, these efforts will yield great benefits for payors and payees.

At the heart of all of these investments is the desire for a better, simpler payments experience for consumers and businesses. We look forward to bringing more of our own investments to life in 2022.

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