The payments landscape is rapidly changing, catalyzed by shifting customer preferences and technological advances—and Colby Thames, Chief Technology Officer at Certegy, is right in the center of it all. With more than 25 years of experience developing IT platforms and digital strategies, he brings a unique perspective to the latest advances in payment technology. 

In this Q&A, Colby shares his insights about payments in a post-pandemic world and discusses the evolution of ACH solutions. 

What is your perspective on the intersection of payment technology and post-pandemic behavior? 

While the shift to digital payments has been unfolding for years, the pandemic really sparked a fast, fundamental change. Consumers and merchants were forced away from physical payment methods (like cash and checks) and into a trial-by-fire scenario for a digital-first—or even digital-only—approach to payments.  

The move was triggered by an outside force that compelled all players in the ecosystem to adapt right away. Every merchant and consumer required digital payment for every transaction—all at once—and we think these changes will stick. 

Because of this increasingly universal demand for digital-first solutions, Certegy has accelerated its investment in digital solutions that leverage ACH technology. We are committed to offering solutions tailored to the evolving needs of merchants and customers. Our BankPay platform, for example, supports simple and secure transactions with ACH, and our Virtual Terminal platform empowers merchants to shed costly, single-purpose hardware by delivering Certegy’s authorization and warranty services via web and app. 

We’ve seen recent headlines about notable fintech players expanding into ACH processing. How are ACH solutions evolving? 

ACH technology has been around a long time. For decades, financial institutions have used ACH as a primary method for digital communication of payments, including electronically converted checks. Today, ACH solutions are being fully digitized across the entire payment ecosystem including merchants and consumers who expect the speed of digital solutions but are also trying to avoid costly transactions fees. Businesses need payment methods that are secure, low risk, cost-effective, ubiquitous, and easy to deploy. ACH has proven to be a natural solution—and a great alternative to traditional choices, like credit cards.  

Take our BankPay solution as an example. We designed it to simultaneously meet two critical needs: (1) Allow consumers to transact at the point of sale easily and securely, and (2) Allow merchants to confidently accept ACH transactions with minimal settlement delay.  

Ultimately, merchants need seamless tools that enable them to save on expenses and operate efficiently. ACH technology fits the bill, providing meaningful benefits to businesses and their customers. 

There’s been lots of activity in the Buy Now, Pay Later space. When it comes to offering installment plans, how do merchants benefit? 

The proliferation of installment plan solutions—like our Buy Now, Pay Later offering—shows merchants and consumers are hungry for new payment options that give shoppers more control over their payment experience.  

Installment plan offerings benefit merchants by helping them reach new customers who are willing to spend but looking for alternatives to expensive credit card arrangements. We view installment plans as much more than a fleeting trend—merchants should consider them strategically as an enduring part of the payment mix. 

At Certegy, we felt there was room to improve the traditional installment plan experience for merchants. First, by outsourcing the payment process, merchants end up losing control—often unintentionally—of an important part of the consumer relationship. Second, many installment plan providers can’t deliver the important elements of authorization and risk management for all payments.  

We built our Buy Now, Pay Later solution to resolve these problems. With our white label option, merchants can own and brand the entire payment experience. Further, like all of Certegy’s digital solutions, our Buy Now, Pay Later offering leverages our world-class authorization platform, giving merchants peace of mind. 

To learn more about the innovative payment solutions mentioned here, visit or contact us 1-877-CERTEGY.