How will you drive revenue and business growth in 2024?

Four ways instant payments and intelligent routing can help your company simplify, innovate—and thrive

By Art Brieske, Head of Instant Payments, Global Treasury Management, Wells Fargo

It’s no secret that when a company creates a great digital experience, it can yield significant benefits. Category leaders like Amazon, Google, Uber, and Apple demonstrate this daily through their sleek online services and in-demand products. 

In 2024, the use of instant payments can power this same type of innovation for your business. Even B2B companies can tap into the potential of faster payment methods like FedNow, RTPs, push-to-card, and Zelle to drive new revenue and business growth. 

Start with intelligent routing capabilities 

Simplicity is key to success. The businesses and individuals who transact with you—as well as your finance staff—will all appreciate the lightning-fast speed, immediate funds availability, and digital efficiency of instant payments. But, that can only happen when the process of using these payment methods is easy and convenient. 

One of the biggest obstacles right now is the number of instant payment options available and the different rules and rails for each. For example, you can transact up to $1 million with an RTP, while FedNow caps transactions at $500,000. Your business can pay an individual with Zelle using the recipient’s mobile phone number or email address, however an RTP requires knowledge of the person’s bank account number. Making fast international payments can add further complexity. 

Instead of expecting finance staff to navigate each service independently—or your engineering team to connect with each solution provider individually—consider working with your bank on intelligent payment routing capabilities. This solution will enable your team to send a single payment file or API call to the bank, then let the technology identify the most appropriate payment method for each transaction. Your bank issues the payments on your behalf, freeing your team for more strategic activities. 

A game-changing opportunity for treasury management

The right payment platforms and providers can power even greater advantages for your company. These four use cases demonstrate how instant payments can positively impact your customer experience, your operational efficiency, and even drive new revenue growth. 

It’s an exciting opportunity for treasury management to move beyond the back office to support innovation, product development, and service delivery in your company. 

Four use cases for instant payments

Consider these four use cases for instant payments and how they match up with your company’s goals:

  1. Go digital. Sending and receiving instant payments arms your organization with another tool to eliminate the hassle of checks and cash. It’s a smart move for your customers and your vendors. What about adding “pay now” functionality into your website, app, or digital product, with instant payment technology behind the scenes? The fewer steps it takes to move away from paper, the greater your adoption of instant payments will be.
  2. Pay on demand for goods and services. Do you work with suppliers that request payment on delivery? Or struggle with lengthy cycle times that impact your credit lines or working capital? You can strengthen supplier relationships and inject more control into your transactions by using instant payments for “on demand” goods and services. 
  3. Get paid faster—and with finality. Accepting instant payments can accelerate your cash flow and help to strengthen your working capital. It can also reduce customer service inquiries. Start by making your key customers aware that you accept instant payments. You can even embed digital payment options in your order and invoice processes, with your bank providing secure processing behind the scenes. 
  4. Move money quickly and easily. If you’re laboring to transfer funds between banks, corporate locations, or lines of business using traditional methods, consider the value of instant payments for inter-company money movement. Transacting in seconds gives you immediate visibility and more control over your finances to help with cash forecasting and investment sweep options.

Adopting instant payments now may seem overwhelming, but the right providers and technology can support your team with step-by-step guidance, seamless access, and fast, secure money movement. Thinking broadly about all the ways your customers, suppliers, staff, and other stakeholders need to send and receive funds can give you a clear advantage in the marketplace and a strong, differentiated experience.