Open Banking Expo and Token.io have published the findings of their third annual Dynamic and Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) industry survey, which revealed that while there is increased appetite among merchants for VRPs, limited bank coverage is a barrier to further adoption.
The new report, ‘The future of Dynamic and Variable Recurring Payments’, showed that the industry is now fully cognisant of the benefits of commercial VRPs, commonly referred to as non-sweeping or premium APIs.
Respondents were asked to compare the perceived main benefits of VRPs versus alternatives, such as card-on-file and direct debit, with VRPs coming out on top in virtually every category.
Among the merchants surveyed, 60% said they will actively seek to convert card payments to VRPs, citing faster settlement of funds and greater reliability.
While nearly all the banks surveyed believe they are likely to benefit commercially by offering VRPs, there remains very limited bank coverage, with the exception of NatWest which became the first bank in the UK to go beyond the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) requirement for banks to provide VRP in support of sweeping.
In October last year, Token.io teamed up with NatWest to offer VRPs for non-sweeping services.
“Our research reinforces our conviction that commercial VRPs are seen as a faster, more secure, convenient, and cost-effective alternative for recurring payments. Banks believe they will benefit commercially by offering VRPs, and merchants are planning to add VRP as an alternative to card payments,” said Todd Clyde, chief executive officer of Token.io.
“But, clearly, work is needed to incentivise further adoption and create the market conditions needed for VRP to become a reality.”
Clyde added: “Our report, and the conversations we heard at Open Banking Expo last week, all point to the need for greater bank coverage to allow merchants and PSPs to offer their customers a superior form of payment.”
“What has kept VRP firmly in the spotlight is regulation,” added Ellie Duncan, head of editorial and broadcast at Open Banking Expo.
“The JROC VRP Working Group is now working on a blueprint for a scalable implementation of commercial VRP, with pilots expected to begin next year. Once this is underway, I’d like to think the pace of adoption will pick up.”
When respondents were asked which use case the JROC pilot should prioritise, 46% identified ecommerce payments as offering the most potential, followed by 27% who think it should be utility bill payments.
Charles Damen, chief product officer at Token.io, said: “We see a huge amount of interest in VRP for ecommerce from both merchants and payment providers.
“As the JROC VRP WG continues its work to build a vision and plan that will, ultimately, help the industry scale commercial VRP, I would like to see TPPs, banks and merchants collaborate and iterate to get VRP pilots off the ground before the second half of next year.”
The results of the survey, which polled 74 senior leaders from banks, merchants, payment providers and technology providers in the UK and Europe, are available to download here.