Project Nexus: enabling instant cross-border payments

 More than 60 countries already have instant (or "fast") payment systems that allow people to send money to each other within seconds. However, sending money abroad is often still slow and expensive. Connecting these domestic payment systems internationally could improve the speed, cost and transparency of cross-border payments.

Nexus is designed to standardise the way that these systems connect to each other. Rather than a payment system operator building custom connections for every new country that it connects to, the operator can make one connection to the Nexus platform. This single connection allows a fast payments system to reach all other countries in the network. Nexus could significantly accelerate the growth of instant cross-border payments.

In 2022, the team built a working prototype of Nexus and used it to connect the test systems of three established IPSs:

  1. The Eurozone's TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) system, operated by Bank of Italy on behalf of the Eurosystem and overseen by the European Central Bank.
  2. Malaysia's Real-time Retail Payments Platform (RPP), operated by Payments Network Malaysia (PayNet) and overseen by Central Bank of Malaysia.
  3. Singapore's Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST) payment system, operated by Banking Computer Services (BCS) and overseen by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The overview report describes Nexus and covers the lessons learnt from this proof-of-concept.

The accompanying technical guide is intended for payment system operators, banks, payment service providers and FX providers, to help them understand how they would connect to Nexus. The documentation describes the business models for each participant and the processes, messages and APIs that are used.

In the next phase of work, the BISIH Singapore Centre is collaborating with the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as they work towards connecting their domestic payment systems.