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ACI Worldwide Plugs Jack Henry Into New Faster-Payments Systems
March 8, 2017

By Jim Daly

If creating faster-payment systems is like putting pieces of a puzzle together, another piece was added Wednesday when payment technology provider ACI Worldwide Inc. announced that processor Jack Henry & Associates Inc. will use ACI’s UP Immediate Payments service to connect its community-bank and credit-union clients to the new real-time payment networks from The Clearing House Payments Co. and Early Warning Services LLC, owner of the Zelle person-to-person service.

Through the UP Immediate Payments technology, Jack Henry could plug more than 10,000 financial institutions into The Clearing House and Zelle systems, according to ACI Worldwide. “Our collaboration with Jack Henry & Associates will extend the reach of real-time payments to all bank accounts in the U.S.,” Craig Saks, chief operating officer at Naples, Fla.-based ACI, said in a news release.

New York City-based The Clearing House is building a new set of instant-payment payment rails for the U.S. based on technology from United Kingdom-based VocaLink Holdings Ltd., which built the U.K.’s Faster Payments Service. The Clearing House already been working with processor Fidelity National Information Services Inc. since the project’s early days, and is recruiting more payment processors to extend its reach.

ACI says its UP Immediate Payments technology will enable Jack Henry’s clients to quickly integrate their back-office systems with the new systems. In the U.K., more than half of the direct Faster Payments scheme participants use ACI technology, the company said.

Monett, Mo.-based Jack Henry said many of the several hundred thousand small businesses served by its financial-institution clients want real-time service for payroll disbursements or vendor payments. “As both consumers and businesses now expect real-time payments, our focus is to keep our clients at the center of payments by rapidly delivering these capabilities,” Greg Adelson, general manager of Payment Solutions at Jack Henry, said in the release. “We chose ACI’s UP Immediate Payments because it’s a proven, configurable solution, backed by an experienced global team that truly understands real-time.”

The Clearing House will begin testing its service in the second or third quarters with business-to-business payments, Steve Ledford, the bank-owned company’s  senior vice president of product and strategy, tells Digital Transactions magazine for an April story about faster payments. The Clearing House originally planned to start testing the system with consumer bill payments, but strong bank interest in B2B payments prompted the change, according to Ledford. “We got so much interest in business to business that we thought, ‘let’s start demonstrating that,’” he says.

Meanwhile, bank-owned Early Warning is about to start a marketing campaign for Zelle, the P2P service formerly known as clearXchange that was developed by some of the nation’s biggest banks. Nineteen banks representing 75 million mobile-banking accounts have direct connections with Zelle, but through processors such as Jack Henry thousands more will be able to offer the service to consumers.

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