Faster payments provide greater convenience and efficiency for individuals and businesses by enabling the instant, or near-instant, transfer of funds. This speed helps in time-sensitive situations, such as paying bills, making urgent purchases or settling financial obligations promptly. This payment type also reduces reliance on traditional paper-based methods, like checks, which can be slow and cumbersome.

By embracing electronic transfers, businesses can streamline their operations and reduce administrative costs. According to the Faster Payments Council’s Faster Payments and Financial Inclusion whitepaper, when it comes to financial inclusion, faster payments also provide easier access to banking services for underserved populations. The ability to send and receive money quickly and securely enhances economic participation and supports economic growth. They also have the power to bolster the overall economy by improving cash flow and liquidity management. Businesses can better manage their working capital, optimize supply chains and make informed investment decisions, ultimately driving economic productivity.

So, what are your options for faster payments? 

Faster payments include Same Day ACH, instant payments and push-to-card options. The two instant payment options are The Clearing House’s RTP® network and the Federal Reserve’s FedNow® Service. The two push-to-card options are Visa Direct and Mastercard Send. Now, let’s look at what differentiates these faster payment options.

The choice of a faster payment option depends on various factors and can vary based on individual preferences and specific requirements. Here are a few considerations to help you decide what’s right for your organization:

1. Speed: Different payment options offer varying levels of speed. Assess the urgency of the transaction and choose a payment method that aligns with your desired timeline. Some options provide instant or near-instant transfers, while others may take hours or even a day.

2. Accessibility: Consider the availability and accessibility of the payment option. Determine if the receiver has access to the chosen payment system or platform. It’s essential to ensure compatibility between the sender and receiver’s accounts.

3. Transaction limits: Check if there are any transaction limits or restrictions associated with the payment option. Some methods may have limits on the amount you can transfer, which could impact your decision if you’re dealing with larger sums of money.

4. Cost: Evaluate the fees associated with each payment option. Some methods may charge transaction fees, while others offer free or low-cost transfers. Consider the cost implications and choose an option that aligns with your budget and cost-effectiveness.

5. Security: Ensure the chosen payment option provides robust security measures to protect your financial information and transactions. Look for encryption, authentication protocols and fraud prevention measures.

6. Integration: Evaluate if the payment option integrates well with your existing financial systems. Seamless integration can simplify payment processes and enhance efficiency. It’s important to assess these factors based on your specific needs and priorities. It’s also helpful to keep up with the latest developments in the payment industry to stay informed about new and emerging faster payment options.

And remember, your financial institution is your biggest cheerleader and will be there to help you along the way! Reach out to them and they will be happy to help you decide what is the right option for your organization and situation.

Faster Payments Network Rails


Payment Type

Settlement Timing

Transaction Limits

Amount/Type of Information with Payment

Same Day ACH
Payment Type:Push, pull
Settlement Timing:Same Day
Transaction Limits:$1,000,000
Amount/Type of Information with Payment:Up to 799,920 characters
RTP® network
Payment Type:Push
Settlement Timing:Immediate 24/7/365
Transaction Limits:$1,000,000
Amount/Type of Information with Payment:Unlimited Characters via Extended Remittance
FedNow® Service
Payment Type:Push
Settlement Timing:Immediate 24/7/365
Transaction Limits:$500,000
Amount/Type of Information with Payment:4,000 Characters
Visa Direct
Payment Type:Push
Settlement Timing:Same Day or Next Day
Transaction Limits:$50K per OCT transaction
$100K/day (150 txn limit)
$250K/week (250 txn limit)
$500K/month (750 txn limit)
Amount/Type of Information with Payment:Varies by Case
Mastercard Send
Payment Type:Push
Settlement Timing:Same Day or Next Day
Transaction Limits:P2P: $10,000
A2A: $25,000
B2C: $50,000
Amount/Type of Information with Payment:Varies by Case