Traditional payments like credit and debit card transactions are often linked to high card fees, long settlement times, and risk of fraud. One of the breakthrough aspects of open banking is the introduction of Account to Account (A2A) payments. This is a huge disruption to the traditional payment industry – and one that is being welcomed by businesses as an alternative to troublesome traditional card schemes.
Businesses are increasingly turning to A2A payments, also known as Pay by Bank, to accept payments at a fraction of the costs of card schemes. In this blog we explore this trend which is gaining momentum globally and will be further accelerated following adoption by big tech companies such as Alipay+.
Evolution of A2A Payments
Accepting card payments has always been an essential and unavoidable part of doing businesses. But the traditional card schemes and the technology that underpins them have been around for decades. They are expensive due to transaction fees, and settlement of funds to sellers can take days, impacting the overall efficiency of financial operations.
The advent of open banking, driven by changes in regulation across Europe, now offers an alternative way of accepting payments.
A2A payments are often built into digital wallets on smartphones, ensuring convenience and accessibility for consumers. Digital wallets in developed markets often serve as proxies for cards, acting as a hub for all their debit and credit cards, right in the palm of their hand. They are little more than a new way to present a traditional plastic card at the point of sale.
In countries like India, Brazil, and China on the other hand, wallet payments are predominantly funded by A2A transactions. Open banking is the interface that links digital wallets with instant payment schemes, offering a distinct alternative to traditional card-based payments.
Stripping out card payment costs and third-party fees
The primary advantage of A2A payments for businesses and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) is to slash transaction fees. Costs of traditional card acceptance can range from 1.5 – 3.5% but can be as high as 6% of each sale including all the extra costs from third-parties.
With A2A payments, the fee can be as low as 0.35% per transaction, and there are none of the additional fees that usually mean merchants are faced with bloated costs added by third parties.
Merchants leveraging A2A payments can also unlock valuable data insights. Analysing customer behaviour, building comprehensive financial profiles, and managing risk become more accessible through open banking, empowering businesses to make informed decisions.
Another factor in favour of A2A payments is their ease of integration. With just a single line of code, A2A payments can be added to various touch points, such as checkout, invoices, or QR codes for a convenient payment experience.
Big tech is embracing A2A payments
Over the past year, we have seen big tech companies with hundreds of millions of users announce the integration of A2A payments into their platforms.
Alipay+ in partnership with Yapily, is exploring the application of open banking and A2A payments on mobile payment platforms. This will deliver an even more convenient and secure payment option for millions of European consumers, in addition to the 1.4 billion consumer accounts across Asia.
Consumers who bank with European financial institutions will be able to make cross-border payments to Alipay+ merchants across the world directly from their bank accounts with smooth payment experience and security.
The use of API technology also enables customers to view account balances and transaction history from supported banks, providing transparency and control.
The adoption of A2A payments by such a major tech brand as Alipay+ is a clear indicator that this new form of payments will have strong appeal to its millions of customers around the world. It will also be a way for Alipay+ to maintain its market leadership position and stand out in the market.
Benefits for Customers
A2A payments create a seamless and convenient experience for your customers in a multitude of ways:
- It eliminates the need for manual entry of payment details, reducing the likelihood of human error.
- They enhance security, protecting your customers from potential fraud.
- Instant notifications also mean that customers can rest assured that their payments have been made.
Regulatory Support for Change
European industry regulators are playing a pivotal role in driving the adoption of open banking and the A2A payments model. Concerns about the dominance of US card schemes have prompted regulatory support for locally owned and operated payment rails. This support is likely to signal a push towards greater autonomy and a more diversified financial ecosystem.
A2A payments are transforming the digital payments arena. The number of businesses and PSPs exploring the opportunity they offer are likely to increase rapidly in 2024. This will be driven not only by steadily increasing levels of awareness, but also the huge boost that will come from adoption by big tech companies such as Alipay+. Check out some of our other 2024 open banking predictions to get ahead for the new year.
Regulators have restated their commitment to supporting open banking and A2A payments to strengthen competition in the payment industry and financial services as a whole.
Open banking infrastructure providers, such as Yapily, are enabling businesses and PSPs to navigate this modern payment landscape where legacy costs and settlement delays are eliminated.
Now you know the hack for better payments in 2024… it’s time to get your business started. Book a call with us today to get a bespoke walkthrough on A2A payments and how Yapily’s open banking solutions can help you.