Prospects For Global Real Time Payments

12. March 2018.

With three major instant-payment schemes launched within a month of each other, 2018 is already shaping up to be the year when real-time payments replace archaic, batch-based processes that fail to meet modern needs.

The New Payments Platform (NPP) recently went live in Australia, enabling customers of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac to send money via a service called PayID. It follows the Real-Time Payments (RTP) system in the US and the pan-European SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme.

While we are witnessing a global race for instant payments, this momentum isn’t likely to result in a global real-time payments solution anytime soon. Unlike domestic payments and the EU scheme—which only deals with one currency and regulator—there are myriad considerations for cross-border payments that carry increased information requirements and are more complex to process.

One of the reasons it has taken a decade longer for the US to launch real-time payments than the UK, for example, boils down to its vast size and increased number of regulators.

Before a global real-time payments system can exist, there needs to be interoperability, a clear direction and a concerted global effort to solve settlement, clearing, compliance and regulatory issues.

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