By Megan Doyle
This series looks at progress in faster payments systems and technologies, primarily in the U.S. and U.K., and explores the variety of benefits businesses and consumers may experience from faster payments in the near future.
Throughout 2017, real-time payments became increasingly available to millions of people and businesses across the globe. They are enabling businesses to pay recipients within minutes – or in some cases, seconds – improving processes ranging from B2B payments to instant refunds. Part 1 outlines many of the business benefits associated with faster payments systems.
Corporate finance experts recognize the benefits of faster payments services. They also think real-time payments may yield less time to detect fraudulent transfers. Experience, however, shows that more fraud may not be the case. Regardless, it's recommended that businesses prepare for the change and understand what can be done to revamp anti-fraud systems. Read why faster payments services may not mean faster fraud.
SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst), Europe's first cross-border real-time payment service, went live in late 2017. It enables instant transfers in euros between participating countries, potentially providing opportunities for businesses to collect quickly from customers. Part 3 offers an in-depth look at how SCT Inst works and how it could change the payment services landscape.
While faster payments systems are already being integrated in the U.K. and other global markets, the U.S. has been one step behind. But as of July 2017, the U.S. began a Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force to take steps to ensure a secure, efficient, and highly inclusive advanced payment system by 2020. Read more on U.S. key steps toward faster payment services.
Two recent events reflect the steady progress the U.S. is making towards faster payments services. The Federal Reserve's Faster Payments Task Force recently defined a key first step in the process: adopting a new governance framework by Spring 2018. Next, The Clearing House announced RTP®, a new, real-time payments service set to enable businesses to free up working capital and manage cash flow more efficiently. Here's how both the Task Force and The Clearing House are working to guarantee the U.S. meets its goal of ubiquitous faster payments availability by 2020.
Megan Doyle is a business technology writer and researcher based in Wantagh, NY, whose work focuses primarily on financial services technology.