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Real-Time Payments Q&A


Real-Time Payments (RTP®) is a new network launched by The Clearing House that enables consumers, businesses, and governments to immediately send and receive funds 24x7x365. Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about this new payment system.

What is The Clearing House?

The Clearing House is a banking association and payments company, owned by 25 U.S. banks, including PNC. It launched RTP in November 2017.

What types of transactions are eligible for RTP?

Currently, credit transactions up to $25,000 per item are eligible.

Does RTP only process business-to-business (B2B) transactions?

No, the RTP system supports consumer, business, and government transactions, although the initial rollout is focused on B2B payments.

Do clients have to open new accounts to use the RTP system?

No, users of the RTP system can initiate payments from their existing accounts.

Is RTP just about faster payments?

While speed is a key benefit, real-time payment confirmation and messaging capabilities also provide the ability to include more information with the transaction, such as remittance data and references to external data. RTP also facilitates enhanced messaging between participants, with Request for Information (RFI), payment, and Request for Payment (RFP) messaging.

What is Request for Payment (RFP) messaging?

RFP is a messaging type to support e-invoicing or e-billing. Recipients of the request can evaluate the request along with related invoice details. Payers can accept the request and generate payment or deny the request. Payments in response to the request are delivered along with the invoice/remittance detail, thereby simplifying the reconciliation process and reducing overhead costs.

What are the differences between RTP and same-day ACH?

  Real-Time Payments Same-Day ACH
Typical Funds Availability Immediate During transaction day
Information Availability Immediate End of day
Processing 24x7x365 During business hours

Is RTP expected to become a mainstream payment method?

Yes, a recent Federal Reserve task force has set a goal that everyone with a U.S. bank account should be able to receive real-time payments by 2020.

The Clearing House projects that U.S. RTP volume will grow from 0.9 billion transactions in 2017 to 7.9 billion transactions in 2023.

For more information about Real-Time Payments, check out our Real-Time Payments Product Sheet

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