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The ISO 20022 Real-Time Payments Group delivers…Real Time Payments are unstoppable!

An inclusive group of ACHs, payment and banking associations, banks, central banks, vendors and even press met to discuss the proliferation of domestic real-time payments schemes and what, if anything, ISO should do to facilitate interoperability between these domestic schemes to create regional or even global access.  

There was resounding agreement that ISO should work to create a ‘best practice’ rule book for real time payments and a plan to deliver within five months, due to some members wishing to use these best practices in the designs for their new schemes. 

With this, the ISO 20022 RMG approved the setting up of the ISO 20022 Real-Time Payments Group, which subsequently asked for members to join the drafting group, for those with experience using ISO 20022 in a real-time environment.  Several organisations volunteered and the drafting group commenced.  

The initial phase was to agree the general flow of messages required, agree which messages should be used, what data elements would be needed and highlight any gaps in messages and data.  For example, currently in ISO 20022, there are no confirmation messages, a key requirement to confirm back to the initiator of the payment that the payment has been made. 

Three months and several conference calls and meetings later, the RTPG has now developed and released the first draft.  Creating this draft within such tight deadlines is a great achievement by the community and all stakeholders. 

By enabling the interoperability of domestic immediate payment schemes, ISO 20022 will lay the foundations for a global, interoperable, immediate payments environment, which is a very exciting prospect for us all—for consumers, corporates and countless others in the industry.

Real-Time Payments are an unstoppable reality! The new ‘guide book,’ based on the experiences and knowledge of 50 leading organisations around the world (including ACI Worldwide), will allow others to successfully apply the standard in an immediate payments environment. 

While the business case for developing these schemes is 95 percent domestic, the benefits for global commerce are clear and the need for these schemes to interoperate is also obvious.

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.