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BBVA Launches Real-Time Payments

Through a partnership with the digital payments network Dwolla, BBVA Compass announced yesterday (April 8) that it would be offering its customers the capability to send and receive money in real-time.

The deal with Dwolla will enable its customers to use FiSync, Dwolla’s secure payments protocol, to offer real-time payments using a system that enables confirmation of the payments, as well as the payments network’s authentication features — taking away the ACH transfer process that normally takes two-to-five business days for a payment to clear.

“Consumers can now get anything on demand — music, movies, services — but the underlying financial transactions can sometimes take days to finalize,” said Manolo Sanchez, BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO. “By working with Dwolla, BBVA Compass is ensuring that money is able to keep up with the speed of the instant economy. This will have a real and lasting impact on businesses and consumers alike.”

This collaboration also allows BBVA Compass account holders to make transactions with the tokenization standard that process bank transfers in a secure and efficient manner.

“FiSync’s confirmation of good funds, real-time availability, and 24/7/365 clearing times are exactly the features that U.S. businesses — from startups all the way to large enterprises — need from their financial institutions to keep up in today’s real-time economy,” said Ben Milne, CEO and cofounder of Dwolla.

While the partnership marks a new level of commitment between BBVA Compass and Dwolla, the pair first agreed upon a deal last October when BBVA opened its platform to Dwolla’s developers. The real-time transfer service that was announced yesterday is the first step in that deal toward more efforts between the two companies. Through this partnership, a company or person with a BBVA Compass account has the ability to not only use Dwolla real-time payments platform, but it also allows developers to uses its open platform to customize their real-time payments as it fits within their business needs.

“FiSync will give anyone with a BBVA Compass relationship a real-time platform to innovate new services, build compelling products or improve existing systems,” Milne said.

Under this agreement, BBVA Compass will maintain Dwolla’s existing pricing for its customers’ real-time transfers, which according to the company is 25 cents per transaction for transfers above $10, and free for any amount less.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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