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Making Ubiquity A Reality: Real-Time Payments Pushes Ahead In The U.S.

Faster Payments in the U.S.

As a member of the Faster Payments Task Force, an initiative of the Federal Reserve, I am pleased with the newly released report findings and the push to achieve the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments call to action in just twenty-nine months from now; a payment system that is faster, ubiquitous, more inclusive, highly secure, and more efficient.

 

The power of an instant payments network

The true power of an instant payments network is its ability to seamlessly integrate financial institutions, billing organizations, merchants, government agencies, insurance companies, lenders, and other stakeholders across the ecosystem. The Fed report outlines recommendations for cross-system operability to create harmony across these networks. This project has been a long process, and received some criticism for its duration. However, the recommendations provided all point toward the extended governance and oversight that is needed in such a large market to help make ubiquity and adoption a reality.

While The Clearing House (TCH) and Zelle are launching new real-time schemes to the market, ubiquity will require even more players and greater reach—third party service providers and intermediaries are already playing an important role here. For example, Jack Henry & Associates announced in March that it would drive accessibility to TCH and Zelle real-time rails through its use of ACI’s UP Immediate Payments. The reach of Jack Henry covers more than 10,000 financial institution clients and their customers, further supporting the drive to ubiquity.

As per the Fed’s recommendations, every bank and credit union will have an efficient and practical means to better serve its customers. Eventually, the overlay services that the credit unions and banks offer will cross the entire market; corporates can achieve better reconciliation, consumers can pay their insurance bills before coverage lapses, billers can reduce days sales outstanding. Anyone who wants to receive or send money in real-time will have options. In this sense, real-time inclusiveness is a huge factor in enabling ubiquity.

 

Faster payments strategies are now under the microscope

With the countdown to U.S. scheme go-lives, institutions are under pressure to shape their faster payments strategy and progress to execution mode ahead of the competition. As new models of interactions like Open APIs, Request for Payment and proxies emerge, it will be interesting to see how our payments system capabilities shift to create universal accessibility and better experiences – for both payment scheme participants and their end users.

Institutions must ensure they choose a solution that addresses the distinct needs of a modern, real-time payments processing environment and scales to meet evolving scheme changes or the next big market demand. ACI’s long and extensive track record of driving immediate payments initiatives around the world, aided by our IP experts, continue to help competitive players – both big and small – navigate the new payments ecosystem and adopt a solution that aligns with their digital payments strategy.