LFP238 – Global Real Time Payments in 2023 w/Craig Ramsey Head G/R/T/P ACI Worldwide

The world is quite a large place but who better to cover the situation and trend in real-time payments than Craig Ramsey Head of Global Real Time Payments at ACI Worldwide who process around a billion payments per day with total value in the trillions of dollars. In this episode we dive into real time payments in the UK, Europe, the US and within the BRICS as well as talking about the next challenge – namely smooth interconnection of local real time payments networks.

Craig has getting on for 40 yrs experience of payments including having started as a Cobol programmer. He has been at ACI since 2000 and has thus seen a very long time horizon on this topic as well as being involved in managing and planning future real time payments programs worldwide.

The topic certainly turned out to be one that was more fascinating than I had previously realised with many moving parts.

Topics discussed include:

  • Angel numbers (that’s a new one for the LFP)
  • being run over by Presidential motorcades and mistaken more than once for a Hollywood A lister
  • Craigs career journey
  • many tech firsts in the 1980s
  • 2005 as a key date – the genesis of the UK’s faster payments which has been the model for many real time payments systems worldwide
  • more than 70 countries have real-time payments systems
  • historic payments periods in the UK relating to the speed of a horse
  • CHAPS as the first but expensive and restrictive real time payments system that needed replacement
  • the US use of planes to fly cheques around the country :-!
  • cheque21 as ending that
  • important parallel between railroads and payments being quite deep especially around added-values/ecosystem
  • different real time payment names around the world
  • a deep dive dive into why UK immediate payments don’t always arrive immediately
  • payments limits on different systems
  • card rails and payments rails
  • EU and the US real time payments system
  • interconnecting cross-border real time payments – a major trend for the future
  • “it should be possible today without interconnections to move money between countries  that have real time payments within 30minutes”
  • SWIFT’s innovation GPI sped up massively international payments and made them more transparent
  • the reasons for these payments being non-immediate
  • an important reminder that when you send money “to another country” it never actually moves to that country (but rather that foreign banks account with a bank in the originating country)
  • how apparently immediate payment works internationally online when payments aren’t immediate
  • examining the card rails and how they relate to a selling merchant
  • some countries have weekly or even monthly settlement of such payments :-O
  • the new real time payments in Brazil as an example of merchants wanting to shorten the time to receipt of funds
  • “payment” in this case being more like a transfer of credit risk from purchaser to say Mastercard
  • India’s new immediate payment scheme – UPI and how this gets to even street merchants
  • the UK needs an update in its rails to NPA
  • ISO standards for payments
  • leveraging the best innovations from around the world
  • “the BRICS countries are way ahead of us in the UK than what we have right now”
  • the potential impact of greater multipolarity on international payments approaches/systems
  • “payments will never go out of fashion” 🙂
  • “ACI is the company that you have probably never heard of but I suggest that nearly everyone has used our services”
  • ACI’s services and shoutouts
  • the importance of improved customer satisfaction

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!