Faster Payments

ECB: Setting The Stage For Pan-European Real Time Cross-Border Payments

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken both the United States and global economies, with 38.4 percent of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) reducing their payroll and experts warning that the pandemic could reduce global trade by anywhere from 13 to 32 percent. The pandemic has caused a global economic downturn leaving consumers and businesses under significant financial strains.

Governments around the globe are working to provide their citizens and businesses the funding they need to weather the storm, but slow delivery of economic stimulus payments has revealed a broader need for more widely accessible, reliable real-time payments infrastructure. The Faster Payments Tracker® examines how financial institutions (FIs), FinTechs and governments across the globe are working to mitigate the pandemic’s impact by enabling access to faster, smarter payments services.

Developments Around The Faster Payments Space

The U.S. government first approved its massive COVID-19 stimulus bill more than a month ago, but millions of consumers have still not received their stimulus checks. The tardy stimulus payments are placing renewed pressure on calls to accelerate FedNow, a real-time payments network set to go live by 2023 or 2024.

While the United States moves to implement its own real-time payments infrastructure, real-time payments adoption in India is rapidly expanding. The nation is poised to become the world’s largest real-time payments market in terms of volume by 2024, a year in which it is expected to process 52.8 billion transactions. The nation’s united payments interface (UPI) system is expected to be a major factor in driving that growth.

Real-time payments adoption in the Asia-Pacific is all the while being driven in part by FinTech innovation, with firms like Hong Kong-based EMQ rolling out their own solutions to the cross-border payments conundrum. EMQ hopes its new solution will help harmonize the highly fragmented regional market, leveraging application programming interface (API) technology to help automate same-day settlements in the local currencies of eight countries and territories.

For more on these and other news items, download this month’s Tracker.

The European Central Bank On How TIPS Is Helping Expand Real-Time Payments Reach

Sweden’s Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank, is the latest FI to connect to TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), the real-time payments network operated by the European Central Bank (ECB). The new partnership signals a major turning point in the broader drive to create a Pan-European real-time payments network. In this month’s Feature Story, PYMNTS caught up with ECB to discuss what it could mean for the future expansion of instant payments access across the European continent.

About The Tracker

The Faster Payments Tracker® is your go-to resource for staying up to date on faster payments developments and initiatives. The Tracker highlights the contribution of different stakeholders, including institutions and technology providers.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.