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Next phase of digital disruption arrives on the rails of real-time payments

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As of late 2017, more countries and regions joined the global real-time payments movement. With the arrival of European Banking Association Real-Time 1 (EBA RT1), SEPA Instant Payments, The Clearing House (TCH) Real-Time Payments (RTP) System, Zelle Network, and the Australian New Payments Platform (NPP), real-time payments now have the potential to reach nearly 1 billion more people.

Layered on top of other live and in development schemes, over half of the global population will potentially have access to real-time payments.

As the reach of real-time payments expands, so do value-added capabilities. And when combined with other digital and payment trends such as mobile wallets, open banking, and modern data standards, the possibilities for value realization multiply.

While the US and EU countries are new to the scene, for years and even decades, real-time payments have been engrained in the payments ecosystem of regions worldwide. And yet, it is not only the veterans like the United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland, or Singapore that are moving swiftly to add new functionalities and target ever-larger audiences.

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US and EU schemes are already reaching a new stage in their evolution as request for pay (RfP) provides new opportunity to innovate value-added services for merchant and corporate markets including payments across billing, B2B, and consumer disbursements.

The move towards instant, multicurrency payments is also in flight. The European Central Bank (ECB) TARGET instant payment settlement (TIPS) system will go live. In Asia, the ASEAN Payments Network (APN), driven by Malaysia’s PayNet, is exploring cross-border links with Thailand and Singapore. Following this path, the next logical stage in real-time payments evolution is a global network that supports the fast, digitally sophisticated and open payments ecosystem.

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During this time of disruptive evolution, banks must consider how to achieve more than just a fast payment transaction through participation in the real-time movement. They must take a position that allows them to efficiently scale alongside

the changing ecosystem and grow their business through customer-centric innovation and reach into new markets. Real-time readiness should be viewed as a strategic leap towards modernization, both from a business model and technology perspective. The right choices now raise the odds of long-term success in what is rapidly becoming the world’s fastest growing payments mechanism.

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