Berkshire Bank commits to RTP with Global PayPlus selection
Massachusetts-based Berkshire Bank is to adopt The Clearing House’s real-time payments (RTP) network and has chosen Finastra’s Fundtech-derived Global PayPlus for connectivity, writes Martin Whybrow.
The bank will be among the first regional players in the US north-east to offer real-time payments capabilities. Global PayPlus will provide access to the ISO 20022-based RTP.
This is a real-time payments platform that is accessible to all US depository institutions to create or enhance digital services for their corporate and retail customers. It represents the first core payments infrastructure built in the US in over 40 years and is aligned with the Federal Reserve-sponsored Faster Payments Task Force effectiveness criteria. It is due to go live next year.
James Belliveau, senior vice-president for operations/strategy at Berkshire Bank, hopes it will allow the bank to combine “the personal, intimate service of a regional bank with the cutting-edge capabilities of our biggest competitors”.
In addition to real-time payments, Global PayPlus will enable Berkshire Bank to send wires, automatically converting US dollar figures to foreign currency before sending to the destination institution. The bank hopes this will open up a significant new revenue stream.
Jeff Otten, head of North American sales, transaction banking solutions, at Finastra, adds: “Today’s bank customers – on both the retail and corporate side – are increasingly accustomed to on-demand services in all aspects of their lives. By offering real-time payments, Berkshire Bank is meeting the trend head-on and providing a service that will lower settlement risk, increase operational efficiency and eliminate friction in the payments process.”
Announced earlier this year was a single price for all RTP participants, which means no volume discounts, volume commitments or monthly minimums.
Financial institutions of all sizes will participate on the same terms and will pay only for the transactions they originate. Some will connect directly to the RTP network while others will do so using connectivity offerings from third-parties, including bankers’ banks, core processors, specialist payment processors, corporate credit unions and credit union service organisations.
The Clearing House already serves hundreds of banks and credit unions that use ACH, wire and check image exchange services and processes nearly half the US commercial volume through these networks. Among other US institutions to have committed to RFP are Corporate One Credit Union, FirstBank, MainStreet Bank, Energy Capital Credit Union, Avidia Bank. There is also an RTP Corporate Advisory Council, comprising 15 large corporates, mid-size companies and small businesses.