Real-time payments may be on everyone’s radar, and though a number of domestic schemes have been proliferating around the world, the U.S. has been lagging, relatively speaking. Interoperability is key for RTP to truly take the global stage, where transactions can speed across borders and time zones in the fastest and most efficient ways possible.
For FIS, it may be a case of “do it yourself,” at least in terms of turbocharging the RTP landscape here in the States and beyond, with what might be likened to a “network of networks” effect that seeks to bring several rails together (legacy ones and more modern options).
On Wednesday (April 28), the company announced that it is unveiling FIS RealNet, billed as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that will enable (through APIs) account-to-account transactions for businesses, consumers and other stakeholders over real-time payment networks, simplifying domestic and cross-border payments. The platform initially is being rolled out in the United States, and then will be available in the U.K. and Europe.
Speeding Flows from Initiation to Clearing and Settlement
In terms of functionality, payments – from initiation to clearing and settlement – can be completed in seconds rather than days, using existing domestic and cross-border payment rails. Using a “smart-routing decision engine,” FIS RealNet “identifies the fastest, most cost-efficient payments option for a given transaction in real time — whether ACH, same-day ACH, wires or RTP — and automates the end-to-end process,” the company said in its release.
As noted in a recent PYMNTS Real-Time Payments Tracker, real-time payments are expanding, with the pandemic as a significant tailwind. And here in the U.S., the demand is there. PYMNTS research shows that as many as 35 percent of consumers in the States consider the ability to receive payments in a real-time fashion as “extremely” important; roughly 24 percent of consumers queried in a different PYMNTS study said they would switch from their current financial institutions (FIs) to one that would provide them with real-time payment options.
Separately, in a sign of growing awareness and desire to embrace RTP, a PYMNTS study done in collaboration with Visa on innovating cross-border payments found that more than a quarter of firms surveyed in the U.S. and the U.K. plan to innovate their systems in order to receive real-time payments within the next three years.
As to the rails and ability to deliver RTP, FIs that hold about 70 percent of demand deposit accounts stateside have access to real-time payment functionalities through partnerships with providers that are in turn connected to the RTP network offered by The Clearing House.
Within a few years, the U.S. Federal Reserve should be launching its own RTP system — and FIS’ announcement adds a new option to the mix.
Read More On Real-Time Payments:
- The 21st-Century Payments System For The Digital Economy
- Deep Dive: The Strengths And Limitations Of Real-Time Payments Rail Interoperability Strategies
- The Fed Presses Forward With FedNow, Blockchain
- Australia’s Consolidation Of Payments Schemes (And RTP Efforts) Looms
Selected by EFXA