immediate payments solution


To offer a credible alternative to cash and card payments, real-time payments must run on technology that is proven, resilient and always available. Vocalink is the power behind the Faster Payments Service in the UK, which is the global standard bearer for real-time payments.

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Our technology offers 99.9% availability and our resilient deployment ensures that transactions are always safe.

Our extensive experience means we know how to run payments and have a deep understanding of the design, development and operation of national payments infrastructures.

Vocalink's Immediate Payments Solution (IPS) is the power behind the FAST service in Singapore, PromptPay in Thailand and will soon be deployed in the U.S, as part of a drive to introduce universal real-time payments.

The challenge

The shift towards ‘faster payments’ as we say here in the UK, has been one of the most exciting developments within the payments industry in the last decade. Consumers experience most services in real-time and now expect the same from their financial providers.

They expect to be able to move money in an instant. Simple. But as with most things, the simplest ideas are often the most complex to implement. So where does it start? It begins with a requirement for open communication throughout an ecosystem of clearing houses, schemes, regulators, technology providers, PSPs and banks.

And it requires a willingness from all parties to work towards one unified vision. At the heart of it all, is the need for a robust, failsafe system that can underpin the clearing and settlement processes. Any system built for a community needs to be world-class and Vocalink’s track record of success is proven in this field.

what is real-time?

Real-time payments systems mean different things to different people. Some have confused it with Real-Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS), which are specifically designed to minimise risk in high value electronic payment settlement systems and are generally suited for low volume, high value transactions.

The emerging trend over the past decade has been towards low value real-time payments systems, which enable an interbank account-to-account payment that is posted and confirmed to the originating bank within one minute (so the payee receives and can use the value instantly and the payer has confirmation of the status of the transaction). The major variations occur with the frequency of settlement, which can be in real-time or periodically throughout the day.

6 reasons to reform payments systems

Source: Payment systems worldwide, Outcomes of the Global Payment Systems Survey 2010, World Bank

The need to improve the overall efficiency of the payments system

Response to technological innovations

The need to reduce systemic risk

Demands from the market for better payment systems and settlement services

Demands from end-users for better payment and settlement services

Demands from government institutions for better payment services

real-time use cases

There are an unlimited number of use cases for immediate payments, spanning P2P, B2B and m-commerce.

Insurance payouts

small business invoices

government benefit payments

daily and weekly wages

P2p payments

electronic bill presentment

the benefits of real-time

The underlying infrastructure enables banks to launch game-changing products and services that provide real customer value and position the banks at the centre of the payment process.

Over the years Vocalink has invested a great deal in understanding the business case for real-time, whether for the economy, society, or for key stakeholders.

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supporting governments

In recent years, governments around the world have been focussing on the structure of the financial services industry and the value it delivers to the economy.

Some of the key themes include financial inclusion initiatives, modernisation of payment systems, decreasing the use of cash and cheques for payments, and lastly, promotion of competition within the financial services industry.

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