It may have taken some time, but faster and real-time payments demand continues to grow in the corporate and B2B payments context.
This week's look at payment rail innovation is all about speed, both for legacy rails and new ones. SWIFT has revealed plans to develop new real-time rails, while VSoft is wielding traditional bank rails to facilitate its real-time payments capabilities.
PYMNTS breaks down all of the latest initiatives below.
SWIFT to Launch New Real-Time Rails
It was a big week for payments messaging solution provider SWIFT, which announced that it will be revamping its real-time payments strategy. The initiative aims to upgrade its platform to optimize interactions between financial institutions (FIs) for heightened transparency and payments predictability. SWIFT is expected to use an application programming interface (API) to streamline interactions between intermediaries.
"We are innovating the underlying infrastructure that financial institutions use to make transactions run even faster end-to-end, and at the same time further reducing costs for the community through industry-shared services in the areas of cyber, fraud and compliance," SWIFT CEO Javier Pérez-Tasso said in a statement, adding that SWIFT will also integrate data analytics to mitigate risk.
"Combining these elements, we are creating a broad platform with faster technology and smarter and better services that the industry can trust as a foundation for innovation towards their own end-clients," he added.
EVO Payments Wields Visa Rails for Merchants
With a focus on optimizing cash flow for merchant customers, EVO Payments has announced a new feature that enables businesses to access funds from card transactions in real time. The company is using Visa's Visa Direct solution, which wields Visa's card rails to push funds to debit cards. Merchants using a qualified debit card can schedule card receivables payouts and apply that cash toward inventory, bill pay and other requirements to continue operating and survive through the volatility.
“In today’s challenging environment where businesses of all sizes have been impacted by the pandemic, it is more important than ever before that they have faster access to their funds, to help mitigate cash flow challenges and stay afloat,” said Gaurav Gollerkeri, head of Visa Direct North America, in a statement.
VSoft Debuts Real-Time Platform
VSoft, a company that develops banking and payments technologies for FIs, has announced the debut of Bread, a real-time payments platform that allows merchants to accept real-time payments. The company noted that the solution can be applied across a broad range of payments use-cases, including B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. VSoft wields its existing banking relationships to use traditional rails to move funds, yet without a middleman from one bank to another.
"The Bread platform will allow businesses to have access to their funds faster and, as a result, have the ability to pay employees quicker," the company said in its announcement, adding that Bread can be integrated into banks' existing business payments and service offerings.
BitPay Secures Wyre Integration
Cryptocurrency payment solution provider BitPay, which services both businesses and consumers, has revealed an integration with Wyre, a partnership that allows users to purchase cryptocurrency within the BitPay Wallet App. It's a mix of payment rails, seeing users able to use their debit card or Apple Pay to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum; added cryptocurrency options will come at a later date BitPay said.
In a statement, Wyre Chief of Staff Liana Spano pointed to the value of new payment rails over legacy ones.
“Crypto has revolutionized the way we deal with payments domestically and internationally by allowing the swift mobility of funds in an otherwise slow and outdated legacy system," said Spano. "In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to streamline global payouts to reach our partners in hard-hit communities as quickly as possible."