In its fifth annual Flavors of Fast report, FIS identified 40 active real-time payment programs around the world, up from 25 in 2017 and nearly three times as many as the company’s inaugural 2014 study. Further, the report identified five payments programs under development, plus another 16 expected to be live in the next 12-18 months – double the number of programs on the radar in 2017.
“We live in a now world. Consumers are demanding more transparency, certainty and immediacy when moving their money, and they won’t settle for incremental innovation,” said Raja Gopalakrishnan, head of Global Payments, FIS. “Financial institutions are responding in growing numbers – modernizing their payment infrastructures to provide real-time payment capabilities that demonstrate their value to customers.”
The FIS research found that overlay services – chat, retail apps, instant loans and more – and open APIs (application program interfaces) provide innovations that encourage consumers and businesses to use real-time payments. For example, a supermarket chain in France implemented instant payments through its shop app; this simplified payments for shoppers and reduced card acquisition, processing fees and check usage for the company.
Meanwhile, India’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which runs through the country’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI), has allowed money transfer apps to feature chatting capabilities. This further encourages public use of real-time innovation.
“The growth of real-time payments programs around the world speaks to consumer demand and the rapid innovation that exists today,” said Gareth Lodge, senior analyst, Celent. “Real time payments is a competitive differentiator for the bank that gets it right.”
The 2018 Flavors of Fast report highlighted three particularly innovative real-time payments programs as part of its “Faster Payments Innovation Index.” The index, which rated programs on a scale of 1-5 (5 being highest), measured the comprehensiveness of real-time payments projects and how well they meet the needs of consumers and corporate customers.
· India’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) took home the report’s only 5 rating for the second year in a row. The fastest growing immediate payment system in the world, IMPS daily transaction volume grew from about two million per day in 2017 to approximately 2.8 million per day this year. The project’s high rating was based on the system’s standard, published API and strong participation from third-party vendors.
· Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP), which went live in Feb. 2018, received a 4+ rating. NPP enables real-time clearing and settlement 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides Australian businesses and consumers with a fast and versatile payments system for making their everyday payments.
· Singapore received a 4+ rating for its Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST) service. Covering credit transfers, direct debits, bill payment, P2P, merchant payments, mobile and more, FAST allows customers from 20 of Singapore’s participating banks to move funds almost instantly 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Twelve other programs received 4+ or 4 ratings in this year’s index. That includes China, which now makes 25.9 million faster payment transfers every day – up from 12 million in 2017; Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant Credit Transfer Scheme, which expects to have 34 countries live with real-time payments by 2019; and the United States, which saw the launch of its first real-time payments system in late 2017.
The FIS report also calls out Germany and Hong Kong as two countries poised to make significant strides forward in implementation of real-time payments schemes.
To read the full 2018 Flavors of Fast report, including exclusive interviews with executives using real-time payments to benefit corporate treasury departments, and leaders of faster payment initiatives in the United States and Canada, visit fisglobal.com/flavors-of-fast.