Imagine sitting at your favorite drive-thru fumbling to get your debit or credit card out of your wallet. What if there were technology that could send data from your car to the fast food restaurant to request and receive payment in real time?
This technology isn’t too far off, thanks to Kunal Das, Chief Enterprise Architect at South State Bank, who won the “Visionary Award” in Carolina Fintech Hub and The Clearing House’s (TCH) Real Time Payment (RTP) Buildathon competition. The premise of the Buildathon, the first of its kind, was for contestants to demonstrate how RTP could solve a business problem. Teams and individual contestants had two weeks to build a product to meet the demands of the growing RTP network, a real-time payments system that modernizes core payments capabilities for all federally-insured U.S. banks and their customers. The RTP network enables payments in 15 seconds, as opposed to the hours-to-days cycle that is common for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network commonly used today.
Kunal’s design, called Plutus, would enable “Internet of Things,” or IoT, connected devices to connect to like sensors on trucks or cargo ships in order to automatically request payments and facilitate “connected commerce” via the RTP payment rails.
“According to Gartner, by 2020, IoT devices will outnumber humans 4:1. According to McKinsey’s research, 127 devices come online every minute,” Kunal cites. “With these sort of statistics and the large amount of data being generated by IoT devices, I think there is an incredibly compelling use case for RTP solutions like Plutus. There is nothing that can match the scale of IoT devices.”
Kunal saw a post about the contest on LinkedIn and worked on his concept every night for a couple of weeks. He entered the contest solo, going up against teams of fintech consultants and much larger banks. Yet, his solution won the “Enabling the Next Digitally Native Business Environment” category, earning him the opportunity to share his work at TCH’s “Payment Perspectives” conference in New York City on June 25, where he was presented with the Visionary Award.
As Chief Enterprise Architect, Kunal’s day job is understanding and modeling South State’s capabilities and the underlying IT assets and business processes that enable better business and customer outcomes. Clearly, his visionary abilities and exceptional technology capabilities are making this possible today, as well as into the future.