In just three years, one word, one idea, has rewritten the payments rulebook: “instant.” Driven by faster phones, ingenious apps and sheer market force, the move to instant is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with payments, opening up new worlds of risk and reward.

Rarely do consumers and businesses agree on anything as much as they have on instant. According to the most recent PYMNTS Disbursement Satisfaction Report, “Consumers’ instant payments adoption has increased nearly fourfold over the past three years, with 42 percent reporting they received at least one such payment this year compared to the 11 percent who said the same in 2017.” That number is even higher (nearly 62 percent) when counting people who received an instant disbursement, like ACH, from government or other sources in 2019.

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