As we approach the turn of the century, commercial banking faces some significant challenges, not the least of which is what to dO with the payment system. Nonbanks are making significant inroads into virtually every area of the business that has traditionally been the exclusive domain of banks, particularly in the payment system.

Users of the payment system are now demanding value-added products and services, ubiquitous access, increased functionality, and. access to realtime intraday payment information. The sad truth is that nonbanks are much more focused on the payment system needs of users, and banks are dangerously close to taking a perceived, if not real, back-seat position in the mind of payment system users.

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