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5th October 2012

FIS PayNet, a new global real-time payment network
Opinion

FIS announced the launch of PayNet, described as "the industry’s first global real-time payments network for domestic and international money movement for both retail and commercial trade."

FIS went on to describe PayNet as, "Designed to provide real-time access to deposit accounts enabling instant authorization of transactions, PayNet is a non-cardbased solution for E-commerce, person-to-person (P2P), bill pay, mobile and international money movement. The solution leverages FIS’ network assets for real-time account access, settlement between parties, interchange processing, multi-currency conversion and exception processing. Built using open architecture, PayNet is easily integrated using standard XML to support financial institutions as well as emerging digital payment models. . . The solution will revolutionize global money movement. With PayNet, a consumer can send money to another consumer – even across the globe – and have it arrive in real time, or pay a bill through bill pay and have the money arrive in real time..."

“There has been a distinct global market shift toward real-time authorization and settlement as the key to driving emerging digital payment opportunities,” said Anthony Jabbour, executive vice president, FIS North American Financial Institutions. “PayNet addresses this shift – empowering organizations to drive significant efficiencies, revenues and profit within such categories as E-commerce, retail, commercial and mobile P2P, bill pay and mobile payments. We are extremely pleased with the added value PayNet will bring to FIS and our clients, as well as how it will revolutionize the payments industry.”

A very high number of new product announcements describe the product as revolutionary. FIS may be right however when they use this tag. As one of the biggest players in the payment market they may bring about a revolution of faster and cheaper international payments. This will depend on their ability to persuade banks to set rates high enough for the bank to make a turn whilst not so high as to put off the individual and small business. Although the current low global interest rates have lessened the value, banks still gain substantially from the delays normally imposed on international money transfers in addition to the high fee levels for such transactions. The growing number of alternatives have increasingly put the future of such restrictive practices and high profit bank payments under pressure. FIS could be the one to lead an alternative that is fairer for those involved in international payments.

To make the system regulatory compliant it includes the right to cancel for 30 minutes after transmission and full fee disclosure. The system is in 'initial rollout' with 200 institutions and is expected to be rolled out industry wide early 2013. FIS plans to make the system available to all financial institutions worldwide.