Real-time payments may be taking a step closer to reality in the U.S., with processor FIS and The Clearing House Payments Company (TCH) aiming to pilot an initiative offering instant bill payments early next year. Under the planned system, the companies will partner with financial institutions to offer bill payments that clear and settle in real-time via TCH’s payments platform. FIS will develop new services around the platform and connect banks to the system. The pilot currently is under development and is planned to go live during the first quarter of 2017.
“This is a critical initiative, designed to transform the payments landscape in the U.S.,” said Anthony Jabbour, COO, banking and payments, FIS. FIS and TCH are two of the 19 organizations selected by the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force Steering Committee, which is tasked with developing and implementing real-time payments in the U.S. FIS already has performed real-time payments processing in countries outside the U.S., the company said.
The global push for real-time payments is gaining momentum, with real-time payments systems currently live in nearly 20 countries as of late 2015. Another dozen—including the U.S. and Canada—are researching, planning and building systems, and 17 are taking part in a Eurozone initiative to explore real-time payments, according to SWIFT.
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