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01 December 2014

The emergence of real-time payments

Paul Stoddart,
MD, Strategy & Business Development,

In May 2008 VocaLink delivered the Faster Payments Service on behalf of the Faster Payments Scheme – it is the largest real time payment system in the world, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Faster Payments Service has been supporting UK businesses and consumers alike with real time bank account to bank account transfers and we have seen significant year on year growth with over 3 billion payments being securely processed since the service was launched five years ago.

We are starting to see an increasing demand for real-time payments in other countries, with at least 11 real-time systems in operation or in development over the last decade.  The real-time payments system, FAST, has gone live in Singapore, Australia is seeking to implement a New Payments Platform and the United States of America recently announced they are in the industry consultation phase.

In this supplement we share our experiences of implementing real-time payments systems and take an in-depth look at the success of Faster Payments in the UK.  We also examine the challenges and benefits that real-time payments can deliver to banks and consumers as well as the advantages real-time technology can bring to government and businesses to support the wider economy and society as a whole.     

Consumers across the globe are adopting a 24/7 mobile lifestyle, evidenced by the fact that m-commerce is growing 10 times faster than e-commerce.  It is critical that the underlying payments infrastructure is fit for purpose and capable of meeting the technological demands of overlay services in the digital age.  Using the Faster Payments Service as a blueprint, we expect to see more markets embracing real-time payments.

We also talk to Ian Sayers, Chief Technology Officer at Zapp, who provides some insight into the commercial potential that overlay services such as Zapp, can bring to support the business case for banks - positioning the bank account back at the heart of payments.

If you have any questions regarding real-time payments we would be delighted to hear from you please contact us at

Click here to find out more about Real-time payments.

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