Beyond the back office: the real-time payments advantage

January 03, 2023

Besides improving traditional back-office business operations, innovative companies are using real-time payments to fuel the type of business transformation that creates new revenue streams and enhances the customer experience.  

This article was originally published as part of Real-time payments: The time is now.

Today, finance leaders are operating in a very different world than they were just three years ago. Amid global disruption, they are expected to steer their organizations through volatile market conditions, supply-chain challenges, and business-wide transformation efforts. With change accelerating everywhere, they know they cannot afford simply to stand and watch while others make progress.

As they rise to these new challenges, embracing fresh perspectives and more strategic thinking, their responsibilities extend far beyond the traditional scope of the back office to incorporate adding cross-department value.

Real-time payments, through the RTP® network, offer them significant support in achieving these goals while elevating the role of finance within their businesses. By harnessing RTP, finance leaders can both improve customer experience and create new revenue streams while also reaping a host of back-office benefits, including better cash-flow control.

Exceeding expectations

New research from U.S. Bank shows that improving the vendor and customer experience is top of U.S. finance leaders’ minds when it comes to payments transformation, with 53% citing it as a top priority in the next year, followed closely by increasing the efficiency of front office transactions (48%), and creating a B2B payments experience on a par with the consumer experience (47%) – all areas where RTP can offer a significant boost.

Apex Financial Solutions recently collaborated with U.S. Bank to deliver RTP to U.S. based financial service firms. Connor Coughlin, GM, Fintech at Apex, says that in the past, the fintech custodian had to devise back office workarounds to counter the impact of ACH (Automatic Clearing House) payments taking days to clear, or of wires only being available during business hours.

“But, when you work around it, that takes human resources. It takes capital outlay to credit money forward in order to access it sooner. And it creates risk,” he warns. “From a client-experience standpoint, you are either laying out capital to try and help people have a more seamless experience, or you are giving them what we call ‘pending anxiety,’ because they don't know when the money is going to hit. That creates a really bad experience.”

By using RTP, Apex gained a competitive advantage in both the front and back offices.

The survey shows that the desire to improve the customer or vendor payment experience is the top reason why companies are interested in, or are already using, RTP.

And more than a third (37%) of businesses who say increasing profit is the outcome they most want to achieve in the next two years believe that increasing the efficiency of front office payment transaction is critical to achieving this outcome.

Adding value

With finance leaders under pressure to be more innovative than ever, RTP offers them a golden opportunity to think beyond the back office, and elevate themselves and their function in the eyes of the C-suite. Those who ignore this opportunity risk falling behind their competitors – and losing the chance to show the whole business their department’s true potential.


We surveyed 1,000 senior finance leaders about the rise of real-time payments and found improved business results for the first wave of early adopters. Gain insights into how innovative companies are using RTP to accelerate their digital transformation in Real-time payments: the time is now.


To learn how real-time payments are changing the way companies do business, visit our RTP® resource page or schedule a call with a treasury management expert.

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RTP® is a registered trademark of The Clearing House Payments Company LLC.

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