BNY Mellon to provide real-time bill pay to Citi, Verizon

Use cases for The Clearing House’s faster payment network are starting to emerge, with the wireless carrier Verizon collaborating with the Bank of New York Mellon and Citigroup to speed delivery and processing for their bills.

BNY Mellon’s recently launched Real-Time E-Bills and Payments product will power the service, which is available to Verizon customers with Citi accounts. BNY Mellon is the billing bank, Verizon is the biller and Citi is the consumer’s bank. Payments can be made immediately, or scheduled to match a recurring payout such as the customer’s payday.

The parties are positioning the service as a way to avoid overdrafts, since the payment is more immediate than a wire transfer or check and can be matched to the customer’s available funds, which may be tied to gig work or other irregular pay cycles.

BNY Mellon and Citi were among the first banks to connect to The Clearing House’s RTP network when it launched in 2017. As the RTP network has grown, banks have started to add request-for-pay (RFP) features to match invoices to digital payment and near real-time settlement.

JPMorgan Chase, for example, in August launched an RFP product that is designed for corporate clients and certain consumer-to-business transactions. And PNC recently reported more than 250 of its wholesale clients are regularly using the bank’s connections to the RTP network, up from just a handful that were using the rail in 2020.

The chief executives of about two dozen TCH banks, and the bank technology vendors Jack Henry and Fiserv, have committed to launching commercial payment features on the RTP network by the end of 2021. The government-backed FedNow faster payment rail is not expected to launch for another two years.

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