The Future of Payments

24 BANKING PERSPECTIVES QUARTER 4 2018 teammates say they now feel like they’re on a better path toward financial confidence. ARAMANDA: I think that’s terrific. ROGERS: Banks play a significant role in advancing financial well-being. While we strategically invest in programs and partnerships that support our purpose, we truly believe employer-driven financial well-being has the highest correlation to success. That certainly has been our experience. So, we bought the assets of 8 Pillars and we hired its team to come work for SunTrust. Then we decided to offer this program to other employers. To date, about 150 companies are participating, and we’ve reached more than 50,000 employees. We have large companies like Home Depot and Delta on board but also have companies of every size. We have a program with some of the YMCAs, as an example – so both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are involved. What we found – and we want to build a community around this – is that their employees who went through the program increased from 43% to 87% in categories such as “living on a budget.” Those with emergency savings improved from 68% to 98%. On average, these employees increased their contributions for retirement by 35%. The results are compelling – it’s a program that works. I think it is very natural to have financial well-being as a cornerstone of your benefit offerings, just like physical well-being. Just like employees have physical stress, they’re also having financial stress. Isn’t it smart to try to make sure that companies are addressing both? ARAMANDA: Yes. The stresses can be related, too. I think that makes perfect sense. ROGERS: I should also say we run this program, called Momentum onUp, as a not-for-profit. There’s no SunTrust product or branding associated with the program. We felt compelled to offer this to the community at large because we think we’re on to something and we can all learn and build upon each employee’s experience. ARAMANDA: I wanted to switch the topic to the RTP system at The Clearing House. SunTrust is an early adopter – actually, one of the earliest banks online. How do you see RTP playing a role in the financial wellness area? ROGERS: For us, RTP is actually pretty simple. It’s an important part of delivering on our SunTrust purpose. If we’re lighting the way to financial well-being for our personal and business clients, we have to do that with the greatest speed possible, the greatest transparency, and the most access to individual client’s funds. All of those things help business and individuals build financial confidence. We wanted to be a leader, and we wanted to be an early adopter, because this isn’t a big-bank thing – this is an all-bank thing. We wanted to put a strong stake in the ground to make the point clear that this is really good for the financial system. I think that having RTP under the banking umbrella is a really important confidence builder for all people who participate in the system. This is something we should all participate in as it’s a key part of how we help our clients. ARAMANDA: I’ve been spending some time with some of the smaller banks. I don’t want to say community banks, but some of the banks have assets of $2 billion to $4 billion, and some of them have gotten very excited about it because they look at this as you described it. ROGERS: Yes. I think what we’re doing through TCH with RTP to really increase the transparency, stability, and requisite confidence in real-time payments is important. Our client feedback is that they want faster, safer payment options. I think the banking system should be the leading provider. ARAMANDA: That’s what our studies have shown. The biggest asset that banks have is that customers trust us, and we ought to be at the forefront of safety and soundness. So, thank you for that. Let’s jump ahead to innovation in banking. You have quite a track record there, working with potential State of Banking