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ABA: The American Bankers Association
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Real-Time Payments

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Real-time payments are here, and banks, consumers and commercial customers all can benefit from transactions settling instantly. The Clearing House Real Time Payment network (RTP) started processing in 2017, and the Federal Reserve’s FedNow Service is expected to go live in 2023. RTP uses a shared pre-funded joint account to settle transactions, while FedNow will be linked to a bank’s master account at the Federal Reserve.

Zelle began as a P2P service that gave immediate credit to customers but settles transactions later using the Automated Clearing House, and in some cases, settlement occurs via RTP when both banks are capable. Zelle appears to be an instant payment from the user perspective — and it actually is — when it uses RTP to settle transactions in real time.

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