When it comes to payment rails innovation, financial service providers can either improve upon existing infrastructure, or build entirely new rails altogether. This week's look at the latest innovation initiatives finds a big push for the latter.
Between the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency clearing the way for financial institutions (FIs) to embrace stablecoin, and The Clearing House's latest real-time payments (RTP) push, new payment rails continue to gain traction.
FIS, The Clearing House Link For Real-Time Payments
To help FIs embrace one of the U.S.'s newest payment rails, RTP, FIS and The Clearing House are pairing up with a focus on smaller FIs. The entities said they will help credit unions and small- to medium-sized banks loop into the RTP network, with First Bank and Nano Banc among the first to do so as a result of the collaboration. FIS is facilitating real-time payments services to the FIs, while The Clearing House operates the RTP system that enables instant payment settlement and availability of funds.
BELLIN Secures SWIFT gpi Label
Treasury management technology provider BELLIN has revealed it is the first treasury management solution provider to secure the Compatible Application SWIFT gpi for Corporates label. It's a distinction that showcases BELLIN's tm5 TMS as having all the requirements to integrate SWIFT gpi, SWIFT's payment rail that facilitates traceable, real-time, cross-border corporate payments. The label was awarded after a collaboration between BELLIN and SWIFT, reports said, and according to BELLIN Product Manager Solution Management Karsten Kiefer, the certification "is another reassurance [to corporate customers] that we are committed to being the safest way to transfer money."
Santander Pilots SWIFT gpi
Also embracing SWIFT gpi is Santander U.K. Reports this week said the bank is testing the real-time payments service for its corporate customers, with plans to roll out SWIFT gpi universal payments confirmation for its business clients later this year. In a statement, Santander U.K. Head of International and Transactional Banking John Carroll said, "Now more than ever, our customers need certainty that their payments have reached their supplier, so the movement of goods and commerce is not disrupted. With supply chains under enormous strain already and businesses grappling with the stresses of [the] coronavirus, it is essential to ensure supplier payments are not delayed."
OCC Clears Banks For Stablecoin
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently published a letter clearing the way for federally chartered banks to adopt stablecoin for certain cases. The OCC said these banks and savings associations are allowed to hold "reserves" on behalf of clients using stablecoin. According to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks, FIs are already engaging in stablecoin activity to the tune of billions of dollars a day. "This opinion provides greater regulatory certainty for banks within the federal banking system to provide those client services in a safe and sound manner," he added.
Apifiny Finds Tester For Instant Settlement Network
As FIs dabble in blockchain-based payment technologies, financial services technology firm Apifiny is also seeking to drive adoption of blockchain. The company revealed that ECS Fin will begin piloting Apifiny's blockchain-based Roxe instant settlement network, designed for FIs to integrate blockchain for real-time clearing and settlement of transactions across borders, including digital and traditional assets. News of the pilot came soon after the OCC's announcement, which Apifiny described in a press release as "another step forward in the integration of traditional finance with decentralized technologies."
SatoshiPay Debuts Blockchain Payments Platform
Outside the U.S., blockchain is picking up steam as a payments rail, too. Blue Star Capital announced that one of its investees, SatoshiPay, headquartered in the U.K., has debuted its B2B payments platform DTransfer, which uses blockchain to enable real-time, cross-border business payments. The technology is built upon the Stellar platform with integrated foreign currency exchange and compliance checks. The technology loops into national banking rails and has already integrated with such networks in Europe, the U.S., Mexico, Nigeria and Tanzania.