Real-time payments (also referred to as immediate payments and instant payments) are gaining ground, driven by consumer demand for speed and convenience. Financial institutions must respond to this demand. They cannot rely on traditional payment instruments to be competitive.
This executive guide by ACI Worldwide and Accenture explores the significance of real-time payments for banks and other payment providers. ACI delivers electronic payments and banking for financial institutions, retailers, billers and processors around the world.
The key difference between real-time payments and other traditional payment models is that real-time payments guarantees immediate availability of funds to the beneficiary of the transaction. In contrast, real-time authorization of a transaction on a card is not the same; the buyer is committed to pay and the recipient is guaranteed to eventually receive the funds, but the availability of funds is not immediate. Real-time infrastructures could potentially replace other payment methods such as cards, checks and automated clearing houses.
Banks need to be fully cognizant of this new payments environment with its large and diverse portfolio of real-time payments solutions.