Three payments powerhouses have partnered this week in a movement toward fast and seamless cross-border payments. France’s EBA Clearing, Belgium’s SWIFT, and the U.S.’s The Clearing House (TCH) are working together to launch Immediate Cross-Border Payments (IXB).
IXB is a new initiative that can synchronize settlements in two different, instant payment systems and convert real-time messages between both systems. A total of 11 banks contributed to IXB’s design. Seven banks, including Bank of America, BBVA Group, Citi, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, J.P. Morgan, and PNC Bank, participated in the proof of concept alongside EBA Clearing, SWIFT, and TCH, three private-sector, member-owned companies.
“IXB demonstrates how the current ecosystem of cross-border payments may be enhanced and made suitable for new high-volume 24/7 business,” said EBA Head of Service Development and Management Erwin Kulk. “In combination with an international request to pay, its potential applications would be limitless.”
The impetus of IXB is the fact that consumers and businesses have come to expect domestic payments to be sent and received in real time. In their minds, cross-border transactions should be no different.
IXP leverages regional payments infrastructure, such as the RTP network in the U.S. and RT1 in Europe, to help banks of all sizes offer instant, cross-border payments more easily. That’s because, by relying on existing infrastructure, banks don’t need to build or connect to a separate network.
“By utilizing existing faster payments systems, financial institutions can leverage existing processes, protocols, and technology to make the user experience seamless across payment types, whether domestic or cross border,” said TCH’s EVP for Product Development Russ Waterhouse.