Well, it’s Wednesday morning and that means the two fast and furious days of exhibitor hall activity at the NACHA Payments Conference have ended. This year’s conference was in San Diego, a favorite destination for attendees. As always, NACHA put on a well-run, professional conference. While there is always the issue of speakers who want to promote their products more than educate their attendees, overall I heard good reports from attendees who attended sessions.
Clearly the BIG topic was faster payments. NACHA has advanced the narrative with Same-Day ACH, which has been in staged implementation over the past two years. With the exception of an increase in returns around paydays, same-day ACH has gone very well. But many of the speakers opine whether same-day ACH is “fast enough.” There are other non-ACH faster payments initiatives, including the Clearing House’s Real-Time Payments (RTP) and the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payment Initiative. RTP is available now, although in limited use as the price to participate is steep. The Fed’s initiative is moving into the final stages of planning and may be a reality in the near future. NACHA, to its credit, has been an active member of the Fed’s initiative, even though it could be competitive.
It has been several years since U.S. Dataworks exhibited at the conference and we were pleased to be greeted by old friends, as make many new ones. Booth activity was good with a steady stream of potential clients and industry stakeholders. It is clear the industry is ready to embrace lockbox upgrades and integrated receivables solutions based on the number of banks reporting to be in an active RFP or vendor evaluation process. But perhaps more interesting, was the increased emphasis across the industry on integrated receivables, as indicated by the number of vendors who are suddenly promoting their integrated receivables capability. With no standard established for what the term Integrated Receivables means, the situation is analogous to the classic line from Princess Bride “I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.”
Financial Institutions looking at Integrated Receivables to need to ask upfront for a prospective vendor to clearly define what they mean by integrated receivables and then determine if that definition will meet the requirements of this important strategic service that FIs need to provide to its best, most profitable business customers. I am very proud of the hard work and superlative efforts of Leilani Doyle and Kathy Harkey who worked the show and made U.S. Dataworks look so professional. They know what Integrated Receivables means and can clearly articulate it to our prospects. I am proud to have them and the rest of the U.S. Dataworks staff working alongside me to build an even stronger company as we continue to serve our financial institution clients.
We will be exhibiting at the Windy City Summit on May 22-24 in Chicago. If you are planning to attend that conference, please stop by; we’d love to meet you in person.