Faster Payments

Faster Payments, Real-Time Payments And A Few Glitches

Speed matters in payments, and as B2B moves away from checks, some recent infrastructure initiatives and announcements show traction in Europe and Asia.  However, as some reports of fraud show, sensitive information may be vulnerable.

The move toward faster payments is an inexorable one. The movement is not always smooth, however.

As reported earlier this month, Hong Kong’s newly debuted Faster Payments System (FPS) has seen its share of controversy, at least at the outset. Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has received a trio of complaints that the faster payments infrastructure has been a conduit to fraud, and the transactions range from $1,280 to $12,750.

As noted here, at least one of the complaints involves stolen data used to initiate a real-time payment through the FPS Autopay service — a service that was then suspended by the HKMA. The alleged fraud involves personal data used to set up eWallet accounts and facilitate direct debit activity. The financial institutions (FIs) that have been involved include HSBC and Bank of China, and the eWallets are tied to services such as AlipayHK, which has suspended its direct debut feature in the region on the guidance of HKMA.

The service went live in Hong Kong last month.

Separately, Crédit Agricole’s Italian operations brought instant payments to current account activity through partnership with SIA.

The faster payments tool will allow businesses to make payments of up to €15,000 ($17,058 USD) no matter the time of day. That functionality works in tandem with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme, an initiative that comes from the European Payments Council and eyes faster payments across the Eurozone.

Crédit Agricole offers real-time payments through the use of the SIA EasyWay platform, and connects to the RT1 real-time payments infrastructure. The platform also enables banks to link into RT1 and TIPS, expected to roll out by the end of the year, as noted in reports.

“The development of the collaboration with Crédit Agricole Italia represents a further step forward in SIA’s positioning as the technological partner of reference for the main European banking groups in the field of advanced payment services,” said SIA Financial Institutions Director Roberta Gobbi in a statement. “Italy thus confirms its place among the most dynamic countries in the adoption of instant payments, currently made available by over 1,000 payment service providers present in 12 Eurozone countries.”

Writ a bit larger, in a recent report by PYMNTS, paper checks are not the favorite of firms when it comes to making payments — to put it mildly. Half of firms surveyed use paper checks daily, but 20 percent dislike the paper-based conduit due to fraud, and 18 percent dislike the expense tied to that payment methodology.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, real-time payments looms. In the most recent Innovation Playbook, across the responses of several hundred payments executives, one-third said they plan to adopt the technology in the next three years.

“Yet, there is still a general lack of knowledge in the market surrounding what, exactly, real-time payments is and what benefits it can provide. More than half of all businesses surveyed said they did not know enough about real-time payments to consider it as a viable B2B option,” PYMNTS reported.

SWIFT, amid a continuing spate of headlines, said it had introduced Payments Controls, which is billed as an intelligent in-network solution to combat fraud, and is tied to the global payments innovation (gpi). The offering has a “stop and recall” capability that lets banks halt a transaction anywhere in the payments process.


Exclusive PYMNTS Study: 

The Future Of Unattended Retail Report: Vending As The New Contextual Commerce, a PYMNTS and USA Technologies collaboration, details the findings from a survey of 2,325 U.S. consumers about their experiences with shopping via unattended retail channels and their interest in using them going forward.