Faster Payments

GET READY! Word of the Week: Real-Time

Ready for faster payments? The Faster Payments Task Force sure is! The past few weeks we have been highlighting all the great work of the task force over the past two years, in anticipation of the release of part two of their final report – The U.S. Path to Faster Payments: A Call to Action. As for your ‘call to action’? Tune in on Friday, July 21 for the official release of the report via a live broadcast program. In the meantime, get ready for faster payments by following our posts all week, starting with the ‘Word of the Week’ below.

A word that gets frequent use both on this site and throughout the payments industry is “real-time.” Whenever you read about payments improvement, chances are you’ll find “real-time” mentioned somewhere in the text. But you might be surprised to learn what it actually means in the context of payments, and to understand if faster payments and real-time payments are the same thing?

In relation to payments, the task forces defined real-time as “immediate/without delay.” If a friend sends you a payment via their smartphone, the money is available to you immediately. Since our current payment system does not easily support immediate payments, a shift to real-time capabilities would indeed make payments faster. Be sure to keep this in mind while you’re reading Final Report Part Two on July 21. Visit the Glossary of Terms to learn more task force vernacular.