Community Blog

May the force be with us: in real time

May 4, 2020 was a landmark day for several reasons. It’s “Star Wars Day”: the day each year the epic space opera is celebrated by its millions of fans.

It was also (and please excuse the tenuous link) the two-and-a-half-year anniversary, or thirtieth month if you like, of an important day for financial services and payment networks.

On November 4, 2017, two banks − BNY Mellon and US Bank − made the first real-time payment via The Clearing House’s RTP (real time payments) network. Since this milestone, much progress has been made in real-time payments − including in recent months while our nation and the world, have been in the grip of a pandemic.

More than half of all DDAs are now connected to The Clearing House’s network for real-time payments. By 2020, nearly all DDAs are expected to be connected to the RTP network, according to The Clearing House.

As you would perhaps expect, large banks, which typically have large IT budgets, have been at the forefront of innovation in real-time payments.

For example, BNY Mellon offers a real-time payment and request-for-pay through its corporate disbursements service. Corporate customers of Wells Fargo can send real-time payments direct to their bank from their treasury and ERP systems through an API.

Some banks are partnering with tech and fintech companies to provide new payment services. For example, in 2019, JPMorgan Chase bank and PayPal launched a new service. The service lets PayPal customers transfer money bank accounts in the U.S. and Europe within seconds if the bank account is connected to the Clearing House Network.

Demand for the service has grown fast. By the end of this year, JP Morgan expects that more than four million payments per month will be made over the service.

However, it is not only large banks who making advances in real-time modernization.

Recent converts to real-time payments include institutions as diverse as Corporate One Federal Credit Union, Banker’s Bank, and Cross River Bank.

Clearly the pace of adoption is picking up. However, there are still thousands of institutions left. How are Volante and The Clearing House working together to bring more financial institutions on board?

Since cost of implementation is one of the most common reasons for delaying uptake of a new payment rail, Volante is offering a free real-time payment processing service in the cloud to enable any U.S. financial institution and its customers to access The Clearing House’s RTP network at no cost.

“Partners, such as Volante, help to continue the growth of the RTP network,” said Keith Gray, Vice-President of Strategic Partnerships at The Clearing House. “Financial institutions of all sizes are looking for a reliable, fast, and cost-effective solution to provide their customers the ability to receive real-time payments.”

We could not agree more and hope that our free service will help make real-time payments accessible to more banks and millions more customers. May the force be with us all!

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