When it comes to the speed of payments, consumers used to be satisfied with just real-time confirmation of a person-to-person (P2P) transaction and the promise that funds were on their way. This isn’t necessarily the case anymore, and the social implications associated with payments are driving the shift in demand.

For some on the receiving end of a P2P transaction, instant access to funds can be critical to pay bills or purchase necessities. More often, however, immediate access to funds is about convenience. Consumers want their debts paid and gone – it’s that simple.

When the friend they owe $25 for dinner receives both the message and the funds that were owed simultaneously, consumers feel released from the burden. When the friend receives the $25 that’s owed, there is relief that the payment has arrived. When we talk about the demand for real-time payments, consumers are typically looking for that feeling – the satisfaction of knowing a debt is paid and behind them.

The desire for faster, more convenient access to funds is proving to outweigh consumers’ security concerns. While they undoubtedly find security important, consumers will often inherently trust a P2P network simply because they know their friends use and are confident in it.

Peer usage increasingly seems to signify security despite consumers, at some level, wanting to know that their account information and funds are secure. A friend or a community’s use of a particular P2P solution is often a primary reason for adopting or switching providers, specifically when it comes to millennials. Consumers will join the network used by those with whom they most frequently transact.

So what does this mean for P2P network providers? Although consumers may feel an initial sense of security when they select the network their friends use, it’s important for networks to constantly support this trust with reality. One data breach or hack can be catastrophic for a payment network. On the bright side, P2P networks don’t need to forego convenience to provide a highly secure experience.

Real-time access to funds is not futuristic; it’s here and consumers believe they should have it. Banks know they need to meet customers’ growing demand for real-time payments, and as they consider the ‘how,’ it’s important to look closely at the ‘why’. It’s about more than just the money; it’s also about the feeling quickly resolving debts with friends creates.

Any P2P solution that cannot deliver this feeling and expectation of speed will be abandoned in favor of the network that can – especially if it’s the network everyone else is using.  

Melissa Lowry is vice president of Early Warning.