MetaBank sees consumer demand for faster payments

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A new study released by the prepaid issuer MetaBank finds that most consumers want businesses to use faster payment methods when sending them money for refunds, rebates and claim payments.

Almost half (47%) of the survey participants stated that their preferred payment method with which to receive funds was a direct deposit. Almost one-quarter (24%) chose one of the three leading digital P2P services to receive funds — PayPal, Zelle and Venmo (which is owned by PayPal). The study also found that a quarter of respondents would be willing to pay a small fee if they could receive payments such as rebates, refunds or credits within a few minutes.

"Consumers are demanding seamless, faster payments across the board. Companies would be well served by offering this innovation to their customers. Faster payments meet consumer demand while providing the opportunity for business growth,” Sheree Thornsberry, executive vice president and head of payments at MetaBank, said in a press release.

Faster payments can also have a major influence on continued consumer loyalty to a business, as well as provide an opportunity to increase the amount of business a company does with a consumer. About half (47%) of the consumers surveyed stated that they would be willing to do more business with a company that offered the option to receive a direct deposit of funds within a few minutes.

Even though paper checks came in second overall in the survey as preferred payment method at 20%, almost a third (31%) of respondents said they would do less business with a company that uses paper checks to make payments.

While using paper checks may seem to be an outmoded payment method, they have not disappeared from the payments ecosystem. The Federal Reserve reported that 17.9 billion checks were used in 2015, down from a peak of 42.5 billion checks in 2001.

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