Developments in retail fast payments and implications for RTGS systems

CPMI Papers  |  No 201  | 
14 December 2021

This report takes stock of recent developments in retail fast payment systems (FPS), examines central banks' roles in these systems and discusses the implications for real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems which provide a critical foundation for the wholesale settlement associated with FPS.

Global adoption of retail FPS is rising at a rapid pace with some convergence in features and design. The report finds that a growing number of FPS have adopted – or are moving towards adoption of – the ISO 20022 messaging format. FPS are also increasingly settling obligations among banks and, where relevant, non-bank FPS participants on a payment-by-payment basis in real time. In terms of the role of the central bank in an FPS, while differences in approaches remain, central banks tend to play important roles in facilitating the operations of FPS; in a number of cases, they also operate the FPS system.

Designing, implementing and operating an FPS is complex. Challenges include ensuring high system availability and reliability requirements. FPS can also have significant implications for the operations and services of RTGS systems in the jurisdiction. This can include potential modifications to access criteria and extension of operating hours at the RTGS system. The insights from this study can be relevant for jurisdictions considering implementing a new FPS, or modifying an existing arrangement.