Continuing the Evolution of Real-Time Payments in the U.S.
The Clearing House Real-Time Payments Initiative
Adding to the growing number of real-time payments platforms in the U.S., The Clearing House (TCH) has announced plans for its own initiative. The Real-Time Payments (RTP) system will support the sending and receiving of credit transfers, requests, remittance advices and messages across the network in real-time in a 24x7x365 processing environment. Among the obvious benefits of the initiative are increased end-to-end efficiency in the payment cycle, more predictable cash flows, and opportunities to develop new payment products. However, in order to take advantage of the benefits, any bank planning to participate must assess the readiness of its core back office systems.
Connectivity may be the least of the challenges
In assessing its readiness to participate in the TCH RTP initiative, banks must review their technical architecture, payment channels, current and future payment product offerings, operational processes, and identify any gaps. Among the major requirements is the capability for real-time integration with all back-office applications that are needed during the payment lifecycle. Many older legacy systems are batch-based, and coupled with the need for 24x7x365 accessibility of balance information and accounts, these applications may need major adjustments and even overhauls to prepare them to operate in the RTP environment. Real-time processing of necessary sanctions and other risk processing will be needed for incoming and outgoing payments in real time and not as part of an end-of-day run. Of course, the issue is magnified based on the number of back-office systems that need to be accessed and this can seriously affect the ability for the payment to be processed in the service level agreement (SLA) specified by the RTP scheme.
In addition to the readiness of systems there is the issue of formats. The TCH RTP platform will be based on the ISO 20022 messaging methodology. Many global markets have applied the ISO 20022 modeling standard to their payment infrastructures. As a result, the flexibility and extensibility of the standard have led to market-centric variations of ISO 20022. Therefore, interoperability between a bank’s payment applications and those of domestic and international systems is another important consideration.
Last but not the least is the issue of orchestration and end to end processing. As the real time payment schemes evolve and grow in number, you need the flexibility to manage your payment processing and orchestration and try to reuse the same framework rather than rework every time a new scheme has to be catered.
Considering Potential Solutions for TCH RTP Scheme
If new, real-time functionality and access need to be developed, tested, and implemented, a bank could lose valuable time and market share in rolling out new RTP-based payment products. Worse still, would be if the current back-office system needs to be replaced with a modern, real-time one, as the implementation, account migration, and required testing could take even more time. Even the use of integration providers would require intense project coordination between the payment system vendors, back-office application firms, and the bank itself in rolling out a complete solution.
Implementing an end-to-end solution through Volante Technologies’ RTP Solution
As with other major payment initiatives around the globe, Volante Technologies is committed to supporting the TCH RTP initiative. A significant number of banks rely on Volante Technologies for payment orchestration and processing, including those in real-time markets. As a part of Volante’s VolPay Suite of payment integration, processing and orchestration products, the VolPay solution for RTP is a powerful and resilient application. The cloud enabled solution is built on the latest technologies, and is platform-agnostic, allowing end to end payment processing and rapid integration to any third-party or in-house system. The solution orchestrates end-to-end payment flows by interacting with back-office, payment, sanctions, risk, accounting and any required in-house or external system quickly and seamlessly to process the real-time payments through the scheme within the required SLAs.
The application not only supports complete handling and execution of payment messages, but also the advices, notifications, and administrative messages and can be white labelled for direct participants to expose it to indirect participants as a service.
About Volante Technology’s VolPay Hub: RTP Suite
The modular design of VolPay Hub: RTP Suite accesses a growing and maintained library of more than 85 global financial message standards plugins and transformations, including RTP processor modules for payment infrastructures such as the United Kingdom’s FPS and the Mexican SPEI System, as well as the TCH RTP in the US. As new financial message standards and RTP schemes emerge, new supporting additions are made to the library. The same framework can be replicated across different geographies by simply adding the relevant RTP processor modules and plugins.
VolPay Hub: RTP Suite is built with the highly resilient, scalable and time-proven Volante Designer toolkit at its core, which enables visual modelling, configurable domain interfaces and automatic code and documentation generation tools. It also provides an inbuilt testing harness. These features result in dramatically accelerated time-to-market and reduced cost-of-ownership. The VolPay Hub: RTP Suite is a cloud enabled and infrastructure agnostic solution. It includes hundreds of REST API’s making communications between the bank’s systems and the solution seamless. These features establish the VolPay Hub: RTP Suite as a platform for the Next Generation payment ecosystem.
The revolutionary nature of the TCH RTP initiative requires an innovative solution that can be deployed rapidly and seamlessly. The VolPay Hub: RTP Suite can be implemented in a timeframe that will fit the bank’s go-to-market strategy within a dramatically accelerated project timeframe. Given its successful track record and extensive experience in designing and implementing robust payment solutions on a global basis, Volante Technologies is the logical choice as a partner to support the implementation of this new market-wide initiative.
Fig. 1 - Configuration of VolPay Hub: RTP Suite in an RTP processing ecosystem within a bank with the TCH RTP scheme
About the underlying functions and technology of the VolPay Hub: RTP Suite
The VolPay Hub: RTP Suite is a specifically configured RTP processing and orchestration version of the already established VolPay Hub product. Through open, configurable adapters any payment type, from any source or channel can be acquired and processed by the system.
VolPay Hub enables the rapid standardization of processes and workflows, applying business defined rules to control and manage the flow of payment transactions inside the organization from acquisition to execution.
It simplifies the mechanism for on-boarding new payment flows and then enables the execution of the necessary technical and functional activities to successfully and efficiently complete the lifecycle of any payment transaction.
The strength of the system is based on its ability to rapidly:
- Normalize the data – market leading digital payment integration facilities including data parsing, validating, mapping, and enrichment
- Standardize the process – rules driven execution of workflows based on market and customer best practice
- Reduce the costs – while gaining speed of change, speed of deployment, flexibility of configuration, support for open source stack, support for local and international standards, etc.
VolPay Hub Product Features:
- Extensive message standards and transformations libraries for payment data on-boarding
- Extensive support for technical integration with internal systems
- Configurable interfaces to: Enrichment, OFAC/AML, FX, Funds check, Billing, Accounting
- Browser based dashboard for transaction monitoring & enquiries
- Exception handling and repairs
- Configure 4/6 eye verification
- Orchestration configuration console
- Business rule definition
- Warehousing of future dated payments
- Alerts and notifications management
- Auditing and management information reporting
- Static and dynamic reference data interfaces: Accuity, SWIFTRef, Membership Directories, FX Rate Sheet
- Static data maintenance access to: Calendars, Currencies, Countries
- System administration & entitlements management
Fig. 2 - VolPay Hub functional flow of payment processing and orchestration
The Payment Orchestration Functions of VolPay Hub
Payment flows Capture functions
Processing Execution activities
Payment Flow Analysis activities
Processing Delivery activities
What makes VolPay Hub different from alternative solutions?
Agility above all else, as it is built to enable business speed & flexibility in on-boarding and the definition of payment processing orchestration flows to quickly take advantage of new business opportunities.
Best-in-class payments integration software designed to excel at addressing the most challenging aspect for every payment hub implementation.
Configuration not coding for setting payment flow integration parameters and business rules for validation, processing and orchestration logic.
Business process led not technology led implementations providing dramatic reduction in development time and enabling quickest time to revenue while complying with ever changing regulatory and reporting requirements, payment channels and additional/changing internal payment processing systems.
Complete open source stack offering the widest choice of cost efficient technical deployment options.
Modular product design so you implement only the functions needed for a lean and performant solution. Add additional functionality by module as needed.
Volante’s focus: Complete commitment to developing & maintaining pre-built payments integration components including updated message standards and transformations.
Proven technology you can trust
The core components of the VolPay Hub business application are a proven technology already in live use at more than 80 diverse financial institutions and corporate enterprises around the globe.