It’s clear that consumers want payments to be immediate. And, they want immediate payments now—and for free and with high levels of security. This also is what regulators want, and so there is a continuing regulatory drive towards payments that are settled in seconds—instant, real time and fast— for the new generation of payers and payees.

However, immediacy presents the banking industry with a significant number of expensive challenges, not the least of which is integrating new systems into legacy banking systems, particularly in terms of realtime balances, data flows and reconciliation.

A European infrastructure to support immediate payments is under development in parallel with a number of domestic initiatives—all at significant cost with no clear understanding of the benefits or rationale for doing so. In this paper, we outline some of the key components for a viable immediate payments infrastructure and dive into how a return on investment can be generated within a tough regulatory environment and in a consumer market that is used to free payments.

CGI believes that the opportunities around immediate payments are beyond mere compliance and that those ready to strategically move forward can capture new business and derive tangible benefits.