The definitive source of global instant payments intelligence

Instant Payments

instant-paymentsWhat are instant payments?

Instant payments – also known as realtime payments – are defined by the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) as electronic retail payment solutions that are available 24/7/365.  They result in the immediate or close-to-immediate interbank clearing of the transaction and crediting of the payee’s account with confirmation to the payer (within seconds of payment initiation).

With over 25 national instant payment systems already live today around the world, and many others in the planning or development phase, instant payments is rapidly becoming the “new normal” for electronic bank payments.

Instant payment characteristics

Instant payments focus on low value retail payment systems (RPS); they differ from realtime gross settlement systems (RTGS) and distributed ledger payment systems. The generally accepted definition of instant payments, is that systems have the following characteristics:

Immediate credit: The funds become available in the payee’s account immediately (within a few seconds) of the payment being initiated by the payer.

Irrevocability: Once the payer has initiated the payment, they cannot cancel it.

Certainty of fate: When the payer initiates the payment, they are informed immediately (within a few seconds) whether the payment has successfully reached the payee’s account or not.

Key instant payment drivers

There have been clear influences on the demand for instant payments.  The spread of smartphones has meant that now, more than at any other time, customer expectations are high. Individuals expect to be able to make a payment anywhere and at any time, including during evening hours, weekends and on public holidays. They also want to be able to pay for and receive their purchases as fast as possible. Suppliers, on the other hand, want the certainty of payment as soon they release their goods and services.

This change of expectations has also had an impact on services such as banks and payment providers. The reliance on traditional banking has fallen dramatically, with customers demanding more convenience and flexibility. There has been an emergence of new fintech payment providers.

These changing consumer attitudes and new technologies have combined to initiate a new era of payments and the roll out of a number of European instant payment schemes.

Instant payments benefits

In addition to meeting the above demands and expectations, instant payments have generated interest from the regulators, competition authorities and payment service providers alike.  Regulators believe that instant payments will expand access to banking services, support economic growth, provide alternatives to Visa/Mastercard networks and reduce the use of cash and cheques.

Competition authorities see realtime payment schemes as a way of opening the payment markets to new entrant and stimulate competitions.  Whilst Payment Service Providers view instant payments as basis for launching new and innovative products through realtime payment overlay services.

Real time payments adoption

The InstaPay Tracker, sponsored by Icon Solutions, provides up to date information on the countries already in the ‘live’ or ‘planning’ phase of rolling out instant payment schemes, including:

FAQ

Question: Which real time payment schemes operate globally?

Answer: The list below shows the names of global instant payment schemes.

Question: When did real time payment schemes start operations?

Answer: The list below shows dates of initial deployment for instant payment schemes.

Question: Which countries have instant payment schemes?

Answer: The following countries have instant payment schemes.

Japan, ZENGIN, deployed in 1973
Switzerland
, SIC, Swiss Interbank Clearing System, deployed in 1987
Taiwan
, CIFS, deployed in 1995
South Korea
, HOFINET, Electronic Banking System (EBS), deployed in 2001
Brazil, SITRAF, System of Funds Transfer, deployed in 2002
Mexico, SPEI, Sistema de pagos electronicos interbancarios, deployed in 2004
South Africa, RTC, Real Time Clearing, deployed in 2006
Kenya, M-PESA, deployed in 2007
Iceland, RTGS, deployed in 2007
UK, FPS, Faster payment service, deployed in 2008
Chile, TEF, Transferencias en Linea, deployed in 2008
China, IBPS, Internet banking payment system, deployed in 2010
India, IMPS, Immediate Payment Service, deployed in 2010
Nigeria, NIP, NIBSS Instant Payment, deployed in 2011
Sweden, BIR, Payments in realtime, deployed in 2012
UAE, UAEFTS, UAE Funds Transfer System, deployed in 2012
Poland, Express Elixir, deployed in 2012
Sri Lanka, SLIPS, Sri Lanka Interbank Payment Systems, deployed in 2013
Singapore, G3 Fast and Secure Transfers, deployed in 2014
Columbia, CENIT, compensacion electronica nacional interbancaria, deployed in 2014
Denmark, NetsRT, Straksclearingen, deployed in 2014
Bangladesh, BD-RTGS, deployed in 2015
Bahrain, EFTS, Electronic Finds Transfer System, deployed in 2015
US, ClearXchange, Zelle, deployed in 2016
Spain, SNCE, National Electronic Clearing System, deployed in 2016
Malaysia, eRENTAS, enhanced realtime gross settlement system, will be deployed in 2017
US, The Clearing House, will be deployed in 2017
Australia, New Payments Platform, NPP, will be deployed in 2017
Europe, SCTInst, will be deployed 2017Japan, ZENGIN, deployed in 1973
Switzerland, SIC, Swiss Interbank Clearing System, deployed in 1987
Taiwan, CIFS, deployed in 1995
South Korea, HOFINET, Electronic Banking System (EBS), deployed in 2001
Brazil, SITRAF, System of Funds Transfer, deployed in 2002
Mexico, SPEI, Sistema de pagos electronicos interbancarios, deployed in 2004
South Africa, RTC, Real Time Clearing, deployed in 2006
Kenya, M-PESA, deployed in 2007
Iceland, RTGS, deployed in 2007
UK, FPS, Faster payment service, deployed in 2008
Chile, TEF, Transferencias en Linea, deployed in 2008
China, IBPS, Internet banking payment system, deployed in 2010
India, IMPS, Immediate Payment Service, deployed in 2010
Nigeria, NIP, NIBSS Instant Payment, deployed in 2011
Sweden, BIR, Payments in realtime, deployed in 2012
UAE, UAEFTS, UAE Funds Transfer System, deployed in 2012
Poland, Express Elixir, deployed in 2012
Sri Lanka, SLIPS, Sri Lanka Interbank Payment Systems, deployed in 2013
Singapore, G3 Fast and Secure Transfers, deployed in 2014
Columbia, CENIT, compensacion electronica nacional interbancaria, deployed in 2014
Denmark, NetsRT, Straksclearingen, deployed in 2014
Bangladesh, BD-RTGS, deployed in 2015
Bahrain, EFTS, Electronic Finds Transfer System, deployed in 2015
US, ClearXchange, Zelle, deployed in 2016
Spain, SNCE, National Electronic Clearing System, deployed in 2016
Malaysia, eRENTAS, enhanced realtime gross settlement system, will be deployed in 2017
US, The Clearing House, will be deployed in 2017
Australia, New Payments Platform, NPP, will be deployed in 2017
Europe, SCTInst, will be deployed 2017

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