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Real-Time Rails Overcome Doubt To Gain B2B Payments Traction

B2B transactions were not the use case that immediately came to mind with emerging payment rails like real-time payments or blockchain. But this week’s Payment Rail Innovation roundup finds the infrastructure continues to gain traction with business end-users, with financial institutions (FIs) driving adoption forward.

Nacha Widens Phixius ACH Payment Data Platform

Nacha is expanding the Phixius platform, designed to facilitate payment data sharing, with the addition of three participants so far this year, it said in an announcement. Those users have adopted Phixius and collectively process more than $400 million in payments value, and 2 million in transaction volume.

The platform supports the exchange of vendor information, pre-payment information and post-payment data through the connectivity of two parties using distributed ledger technology (DLT), ISO 20022 messaging standards, and application programming interface (API) integration. The movement of data, along with the movement of funds, has become a key focus for B2B payments, as well as a critique of ACH transactions that can find it challenging to move sufficient data with money.

U.S. Faster Payments Council Names 2021 Directors

The U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) has named its 2021 Board of Directors, it announced in a press release sent to PYMNTS, which noted that the election of both new and returning members aims to reflect the diversity of the payments ecosystem.

Participating as directors are Mastercard’s Antonia Stroeh, BNY Mellon’s Carl Slabicki and Corporate One Federal Credit Union’s Charles Harkness, to name a few. The three directors assigned to represent business end-users of faster payments include Target Corporation’s Perry Starr, Microsoft’s Stuart Dwyer and Walmart’s Matt Howarter.

PNC Finds RTP Adoption Among Businesses

In only about a year, PNC Financial Services’ corporate use of The Clearing House’s RTP network went from what American Banker reported as “just a handful” to more than 250. It’s evidence of corporates’ expanding interest in faster and real-time payments, which had initially faced significant doubt over its ability to gain traction in the B2B payments use case. “As so much more gets digitized, there’s more of a need to have funds immediately,” PNC Executive Vice President and Head of Product for Treasury Management Chris Ward told the publication.

Paystand Finds Growth Through Sage

Blockchain B2B payments platform Paystand is expanding its reach with a new partnership with Sage, offering its solution through the Sage Intacct Marketplace and integrating its technology within the Sage Intacct system. The partnership supports the adoption of instant B2B payments using blockchain and Paystand’s bank network.

In addition to the speed of payment, Paystand’s solution offers businesses embedded payment options within invoices, reconciliation automation and cash application, and cash flow management support, without charging fees for vendors accepting payments.

Customers Bank Forecasts Blockchain For B2B Payments

Also in support of blockchain to enable B2B payments is Customers Bank, whose Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Sam Sidhu and Managing Director and Head of Digital Banking Chris Smalley told PYMNTS about the importance of FIs forecasting corporates’ B2B payments needs. Sometimes, they said, that means anticipating demand before business clients even know they want or need a solution.

That’s likely going to be the case with blockchain, and while end-users may not understand exactly how the technology works, they’ll only need to know that it does work — and adds value to their operations. Smalley pointed to the opportunity for features like smart contracts to create even more value for corporates, while Sidhu highlighted the 24-7-365 always-on nature of blockchain as another key feature that can benefit businesses.

Earlier this month, Customers Bank announced the adoption of Tassat’s blockchain-based TassatPay Network to support instant B2B payments with the ability to integrate both digital and legacy payment rails.

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