Project Description

Real time payments through the RTP network have arrived. Launched in November 2017 by The Clearing House, they represent the first new payment network since the introduction of ACH more than 40 years ago. The opportunity has both banks and businesses excited.

Speed is the main attraction for RTP transactions. As the name implies, they transact instantaneously. The network operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with immediate funds availability for recipients.1

Flexibility is the second advantage. With RTP payments, you can pay businesses or consumers. You can make large or small payments, with U.S. Dollar transactions up to $25,000. An RTP transaction uses information most businesses likely have on file: the payee’s routing and bank account number. That can make them an easy alternative for ACH or wire transfer.

Currently, more than half of all U.S. bank accounts are ready for RTP payments.1 Adoption levels continue to grow, with The Clearing House projecting “ubiquity,” or the ability to reach nearly all U.S. account holders, by the end of 2020.1

How to get started with RTP payments
For treasury professionals, it’s time to ready your RTP payment plans. Here are five practical tips to get started.

  1. Identify your use cases. First, convene your stakeholders and assess where RTP payments can add the most value to your organization. Payables opportunities may include supplier invoices, taxes, and insurance claims.

    You can also receive RTP transactions as a way for customers to submit last-minute payments, or as an alternative to paying with wires, which can carry significant fees.

  1. Contact your bank. Next, ensure your bank has joined the RTP network. That’s all you need in order to receive RTP payments. To send RTP transactions, clarify your bank’s requirements, and be clear on any processing fees.
  1. Set up connectivity. Sending most faster payments requires system-to-system connectivity that can handle direct, near real-time communication, rather than the traditional batch processing environments in use today. Every bank will establish its own method, with an API link being one of the most common ways to connect your ERP or accounting system to your RTP provider. Once your IT team sets up this simple link, you can transmit payments, include remittances, and receive confirmations.
  1. Update treasury controls. Anytime you add a new payment method, it’s smart to review and update your in-house procedures for authorizing payments. With RTP payments, it’s important because they’re not only instant, they’re also final and irrevocable. That makes timing and accuracy critical to success.
  1. Communicate with suppliers and customers. Lastly, broadcast the good news to those you will pay—and customers who can now pay you through the RTP network. These valued trade partners will appreciate the convenience.

Look for RTP transactions to become even more robust in the near future. The Clearing House is already working on enhancements, such as “Request for Payment” (RfP) functionality that allows suppliers to issue digital invoices.

For more information, contact your Wells Fargo representative or fill out the Contact Us form on this site.

1 The Clearing House, “The RTP® Network: For All Financial Institutions,” https://www.theclearinghouse.org/payment-systems/rtp/institution

RTP® is a registered service mark of The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C.