Real-time Payments & What’s Next
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Real-time Payments & What’s Next

Kathryn Rungrueng
Kathryn Rungrueng
 • 
October 5, 2022
Today, many payment providers use batch-based processing, dictate clearing times, and require that payments be scheduled. This is done to ensure safe, secure transactions, but results in payment delays and adverse customer experience impacts. Below, we explain what real-time payments is, how it can solve the current settlement challenges and what’s next for instant payments in the US.

What are real-time payments?

Real-time payments (RTP) removes technical bottlenecks to enable consumers, merchants, and financial institutions to pay friends and customers, settle bills, and transfer money immediately, 24/7. In 2021, real-time payments represented 17% of all disbursement, up from 5.7% in 20201.

Why are real-time payments important?

For customers, ****lack of real-time payments can impact customer experience. In the era of digital payments, this is especially true for online or in-app transactions. A digital experience without instant payment capabilities can result in a poor customer experience and a poor reflection on your brand. A customer may believe their funds were sent and received in real-time, but some payments can take days to settle. If their bank account balances are not yet up to date, this could cause customers to spend more money than they believe they have available, and they could incur costly overdraft fees2.

For businesses, ****lack of real-time visibility can impact their ability to properly forecast and optimize their finances. If businesses are paid immediately, they can streamline account reconciliation, financial forecasting, and cash management.

What’s next for real-time payments in the US?

Real-time payments are broadly available in 54 countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom, China and India. In the US, the Federal Reserve Banks have collaborated to develop FedNow, which is expected to launch in mid-2023. FedNow is a real-time payments system that will enable any financial institution of any size to offer real-time payments. 60% of the banks in the US are currently on the network, and it is expected to dramatically accelerate the adoption of instant payments.

Merchants can also offer and benefit from real-time payments today. Payment providers, like Zage, offer real-time payments that enable businesses to get up and running in less than 2 hours. In addition to offering instant payment processing services, Zage offers a consumer payment option where customers can pay-by-bank and earn gamified rewards. Zage’s processing fees are up to 85% lower than other payment methods, and the offering can drive increased sales and repeat purchases by up to 32% and 56%3, respectively.

Conclusion

Real-time payments are crucial to ensuring a positive customer experience, and for streamlining account reconciliation, financial forecasting, and cash management. As the United States works to enable instant payments offerings on par with other countries, there are ways for your business to offer and benefit from real-time payments - by partnering with Zage - today.

Want to learn more? Contact Zage today!

Sources:

  1. PYMNTS.com
  2. Forbes
  3. Zage performance data
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