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Accelerating commercial payments transformation with US instant payments: A strategic outlook for 2024

Rob Golding
Director, Volante Technologies

The US payments landscape is undergoing a transformative shift, catalyzed by the rise of real-time instant payments. This comprehensive report, sponsored by Volante Technologies and researched and produced by Javelin Strategy & Research, examines the current state of instant payments adoption, explores emerging commercial use cases, and provides strategic recommendations for financial institutions (FIs) to capitalize on this paradigm shift successfully. The time is ripe for payments leaders to embrace this innovation and unlock new frontiers of operational efficiency, liquidity management, and competitive advantage.

The acceleration of instant payments

The journey towards real-time payments in the US commenced in 2017 with the launch of The Clearing House’s RTP® network. This milestone was further reinforced in 2023 by the Federal Reserve’s introduction of the FedNow® Service, enriching the ecosystem with an additional robust option for FIs to modernize their payment offerings. The trajectory of instant payments has been remarkable, with the RTP network witnessing record-breaking transaction volumes and values in early 2024. Concurrently, the FedNow Service has garnered substantial participation from institutions nationwide, signaling promising growth prospects in the coming years.

Transforming B2B transactions

The advent of instant payments is catalyzing a paradigm shift in the business-to-business (B2B) transaction landscape. Traditionally characterized by sluggish processes, entrenched operational procedures, and low transaction limits, B2B payments are now poised to undergo a transformative evolution. In 2024, instant payments are positioned to revolutionize how businesses manage transactions, streamline operations, and enhance liquidity.

Emerging commercial use cases

Instant payments unlock a myriad of innovative use cases for businesses, enabling them to optimize financial processes, enhance operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge. These include:

  • Seamless Supplier Payments: Facilitate real-time fund disbursements to suppliers, fostering trust, reliability, and strong collaborative relationships within the supply chain.
  • Expedited Invoice Settlement: Streamline invoice processing and settlement, reducing administrative overheads and accelerating cash flow, thereby enhancing operational agility.
  • Just-in-Time Inventory Management: Adopt a just-in-time inventory management approach, optimizing stock levels, minimizing excess holding costs, and ensuring goods are available to meet demand.
  • Agile Supply Chain Financing: Empower suppliers with access to flexible financing options, enabling them to address immediate working capital needs and capitalize on growth opportunities, fostering a resilient supply chain ecosystem.
  • Dynamic Discounting: Facilitate dynamic discounting schemes, benefiting both buyers and suppliers by improving cash flow and optimizing costs, thereby enhancing liquidity within the supply chain.
  • Enhanced Cash Forecasting: Gain real-time visibility into cash positions, enabling accurate cash flow forecasting and strategic financial planning, driving growth and profitability.
  • Mitigation of Payment Risks: Reduce exposure to payment risks such as late payments and defaults, enhancing financial stability within the supply chain and safeguarding against potential disruptions.
  • Improved Operational Efficiency: Streamline payment processes, minimizing manual intervention, errors, and delays, driving innovation and competitiveness in the market.
  • Global Trade Facilitation: Mitigate cross-border payment challenges, fostering smoother international trade operations, facilitating faster decision-making, and enhancing market access, thereby driving global business expansion and economic growth.
  • Competitive Advantage: Provide superior payment experiences, attract partners and customers, and reinforce brand reputation and market positioning.

Industry frontrunners

Across various sectors, leading industries are at the vanguard of leveraging instant payments to optimize their financial processes and gain a competitive advantage. From manufacturing to healthcare, technology to professional services, these industries are integrating instant payments into their operations to streamline transactions, improve cash flow, and enhance customer experiences:

  • Manufacturing: Enable timely acquisition of raw materials, efficient supply chain management, and swift settlement of invoices with suppliers and vendors.
  • Wholesale Trade: Facilitate transactions with suppliers, distributors, and retailers, streamlining procurement processes and enhancing liquidity management.
  • Technology: Expedite transactions for software licenses, hardware acquisitions, and various services, fueling rapid innovation and collaboration among technology firms and their partners.
  • Healthcare: Transform billing and invoicing procedures, seamlessly connecting healthcare providers, insurers, and suppliers, improving cash flow and operational efficiency.
  • Professional Services: Expedite client payments, optimize cash flow, and strengthen client relationships, enhancing operational efficiency and client satisfaction.

Strategic recommendations

To fully capitalize on the benefits of instant payments and position themselves as leaders in the digital economy, FIs are advised to adopt a strategic approach encompassing the following recommendations:

  1. Dual-Network Adoption: Establish connections to both the RTP and FedNow networks, ensuring comprehensive client reach as demand for instant payments grows.
  2. Robust Partnership Strategies: Evaluate existing systems and partnerships to accommodate the demands of instant payments efficiently, focusing on efficiencies and cost reductions.
  3. Strategic Use Case Assessment: Prioritize use cases based on industry relevance and applicability, avoiding the temptation to “boil the ocean” and ensuring strategic alignment with business objectives.
  4. Prioritize Security and Fraud Detection: Implement advanced fraud detection and security protocols to safeguard against potential risks associated with instant payments, ensuring trust and reliability in financial transactions.


The US payments landscape is undergoing a rapid evolution, presenting both challenges and opportunities for FIs and businesses alike. By embracing innovation, fostering strategic collaborations, and meticulous planning, FIs can navigate the complexities of commercial payments modernization and emerge as leaders in the digital economy. Stay tuned for the second part of this series, where we delve deeper into industrial trends, implementation considerations, partnerships, and future outlooks shaping the landscape of US instant payments in 2024.

Rob Golding
Rob Golding
Director, Volante Technologies

Robert has 25+ years experience selling into the largest US and International Banks. He has in-depth market knowledge in Payments (Wires, ACH, RTP), FX, Treasury and Capital Markets in the Banking and Financial Software industry.


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