Instant Payments Solution: RTP Network Expands Request for Payment (RfP) Availability

Using the Request for Payment (RfP) capability on the RTP network, the instant payments system operated by The Clearing House, broker dealers, billers and suppliers “can now request a payment from their customers through secure bank channels, and receive an instant payment in response from both consumers and businesses.”

A number of the RTP network’s financial institution participants are now “offering RfP over the network, providing billers and their customers a more streamlined way to request and make payments.”

RfP puts the payer “in control of the transaction, allowing them to review the RfP and decide whether to pay or decline it.” A payer can send an RTP payment in response to the RfP exactly when they want to (24×7) or, “depending on the financial institution, schedule the payment for a future date.”

The payment happens in seconds “over the RTP network with the biller receiving access to immediate and irrevocable funds, and the payer receiving immediate confirmation that the biller has received their payment.”

Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, Fifth Third, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, which provide banking services “to many high-volume corporate billers, are among the RTP participants that are offering RfP capabilities.”

Many other financial institutions, such as Bridge Community Bank and North American Banking Co., “have also received certification to send RfP messages on the RTP network. Numerous technology providers, including FIS, Fiserv, Jack Henry and Open Payment Network, have received certification to provide Request for Payment to their financial institution customers that are RTP Participants.”

Connor McCoughlin, Chief Commercial Officer of APEX Fintech Solutions, Inc. (Apex Clearing Corporation, a subsidiary of Apex Fintech Solutions Inc., provides brokerage services including custody and clearing).

“Expanding RfP usage across financial institutions is an exciting step toward wider RTP adoption. Through the Clearing House’s RTP network and with U.S. Bank as AFS’s bank partner, we can help eliminate ACH return risk for retail broker-dealers and their investors. As the first company to offer real-time instant digital account opening and funding, Apex understands our modern retail investors and their need for speed. No matter what time of day, once RfPs are approved, there are no questions about when funds are coming or going. This is all part of Apex’s mission to create a frictionless experience for every investor.”

As noted in the update:

“We’re seeing a significant evolution in digital payments, which are increasingly instant, embedded and connected to the processes, applications and software customers use every day,” said Shailesh Kotwal, vice chair, U.S. Bank Payment Services. “Giving businesses the ability to request or move money on behalf of their customers in real time creates a better experience, increasing satisfaction and providing a competitive edge for businesses.”

Anticipating the expanded launch of RfP, “over the past year TCH has worked with RTP participants to enhance the risk management framework for RfPs to mitigate the risk of potential misuse.”

TCH and the RTP network are taking a risk-based approach to the initial introduction of this capability and the use cases that will be allowed on the network. The initial list of permitted use cases includes:

  • Consumer Bill Pay: Companies that provide recurring consumer services, such as utilities, can use RfP to request payment for their services;

Business to Business Payments:

  • Businesses can pay suppliers, business partners, contractors, freelancers or other third parties using RfP;
  • Payroll providers can send RfPs to its corporate customers so they can fund payroll on the same day that employees are paid, rather than 2-4 days prior to payday;
  • Account to Account (A2A): RfPs can be used by individuals to request transfers between bank or brokerage accounts that are owned by the same person. For example, brokers can send an RfP to customers so they can transfer money from their bank account to their brokerage account instantly to enable immediate trading;

As market adoption grows and RTP participants, billers and payers gain experience with RfP, the permitted use cases on the RTP network are “expected to expand to encompass all types of traditional and digital payment experiences.”

Learnings from these early adopters will be “critical to that expansion and wide-scale adoption of RFP.”

Rusiru Gunasena, Senior Vice President of RTP Product Management at The Clearing House, said:

“Businesses have been looking for more efficient and user-friendly ways to send bills and invoices to customers, while customers have been searching for a better payment experience that gives them more control. Request for Payment provides a way for billers to efficiently and securely send bills and invoices to customers through a bank’s digital channel and allows customers to have full control and insight over the payment.”

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