The Clearing House Names Swift’s David Watson as CEO

The Clearing House (TCH) has a new president and CEO.

The payments network announced Tuesday (Jan. 3) that David Watson would take up that position at the start of February. He will replace current President and CEO Jim Aramanda, who is retiring after 15 years of leading TCH.

Watson comes to TCH from the financial transaction facilitator Swift, where he served as chief product officer.

“David brings extensive payments experience, in-depth expertise in the field, and a strong track record of innovation,” Brian Moynihan, Bank of America chair and chief executive officer and chair of the TCH Supervisory Board, said in a news release sent to PYMNTS.

He added that Watson will continue TCH’s efforts to promote the “adoption of real-time payments capabilities and focusing on the safety, security, reliability, and efficiency of bank-owned payment systems which are critical to the financial system.”

TCH’s news came just hours after Swift announced the appointment of Mastercard executive Stephen Grainger as its chief executive for the Americas and the U.K.

Owned by a collection of some of the world’s largest banks, the TCH payment network clears and settles more than $2 trillion each day via wire, ACH, check image, and real-time payments.

The company has collaborated with PYMNTS on studies, including the recent Real-Time Payments Tracker, created to mark the five-year anniversary of the launch of TCH’s Real-Time Payments (RTP) network.

In those five years, the RTP network has seen a number of milestones. It reaches 62% of demand deposit accounts in the U.S., while 289 banks and credit unions (CUs) use the network to offer instant payments to their customers.

The third quarter of last year alone saw 45 million transactions totaling $19.7 billion. TCH says more than 80% of the financial institutions (FIs) that access the network are community banks and CUs that hold under $10 billion in assets.

In October, PYMNTS interviewed Peter Davey, senior vice president and head of product innovation for TCH, who spoke of opportunities for a new digital shift in the world of payments.

“The mindset shift is harder,” Davey said, referring to the way companies and providers will have to tear down some of the “walled gardens” formed by decades of older legacy technology.

Davey said these companies will better serve clients once they grasp that users embrace different product sets and services for different circumstances and ecosystems.

The shift will take time, he noted, as wires, cards, ACH payments, and even checks, remain popular. More financial institutions and FinTechs, Davey added, are looking for providers to help integrate into real-time-payment rails and handle payments exceptions as they crop up.