When Is a Real-Time Payment Not a Real-Time Payment?

Is the difference between real-time payments schemes and other fast payments mechanisms sufficiently understood?

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Executive Brief

When is a real-time payment not a real-time payment? While this seems like a simple question, the term “real-time payment” is applied to a wide range of payment types that are not always instant. Understanding the subtle distinctions between true real-time payments and mere fast payments methods is especially important from a fraud perspective, and because the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the global adoption of real-time payments. 

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