Monday , April 15, 2024

The Clearing House’s RTP Network Surpasses 500 Million Payments

Six years after its launch, the RTP Network surpassed 500 million real-time payments on Saturday, network operator The Clearing House Payments Co. reported Monday.

The announcement at least temporarily shines the spotlight back onto the current leader in real-time payments in the wake of last week’s much-anticipated launch of the Federal Reserve’s competing FedNow service.

But New York City-based TCH isn’t trying to detract from FedNow’s debut, according to Jim Colassano, senior vice president and product executive for RTP. He says hitting the half-billion payments mark is something TCH would have trumpeted no matter what the Fed was doing. “It is something we feel … is an incredibly strong milestone,” Colassano tells Digital Transactions News. “We just don’t want folks to miss that.”

TCH also reported several other RTP Network metrics. Second-quarter transactions totaled 58 million worth $29 billion, up from 41 million transactions and $18 billion in value from a year earlier, for respective increases of 41% and 61%. More than 350 financial institutions now participate in the network, and 20-plus payment processors and fintechs facilitate RTP transactions. Ninety percent of the financial institutions are community banks and credit unions with $10 billion or less in assets. Some 150,000 businesses are sending payments over the network, up 50% from last December.

On the consumer side, TCH says more than 3 million consumers each month send account-to-account and Zelle payments that clear and settle over the network. The RTP Network reaches 65% of U.S. demand-deposit accounts, according to TCH.

Despite the growth, the RTP Network has a long way to go, according to Colassano. Major goals for 2023 include adding more transaction originators and growing network volume. For example, despite the long list of financial-institution participants, some large companies like Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA are not yet members. Those two and others are being approached by TCH. “We are actively engaged with all the top banks and credit unions in the country,” Colassano says. “Our emphasis early on was really to get the most participants we could.”

Another big goal: rolling out a request-for-payment service to consumers, enabling them to originate transactions. That service is “going into full production soon,” says Colassano, declining to reveal details. “You’re going to be hearing more about it in very short order.”

One thing the Fed did with the launch of FedNow was put to rest any lingering doubts about the use case for real-time payments, according to Colassano. Financial institutions are now concerned mainly with implementation issues because “real-time payments are the future,” he says.

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