With a rise in real-time payments (RTP) worldwide, banks and solution providers are rushing to fill out their offerings of digital overlay services. Digital overlay services are value-added services that utilize the rails of an RTP network to enable and showcase the value of a real-time transaction.

We’ve seen this before, back in the 19th century, as the United States committed to building a nationwide network of railroads. As the railroad system developed and stretched across the country, the US economy followed, leveraging those new rails to expand businesses. Boomtowns from east to west popped up seemingly overnight. Beyond the people and goods that railroads carried, the rails themselves were the catalyst that created new cities, millions of jobs, and countless “value-added” services these new towns needed to thrive.

We’re experiencing a modern-day equivalent in real-time payments around the world. As one of the most groundbreaking advancements in recent financial history, RTP has quickly become the hottest topic in our industry. In a real-time payments network, money is sent from one party to another via rails set up to complete that transaction in seconds. A country or region must first establish those rails via a real-time payment clearinghouse. This clearinghouse acts as the train station, sending and receiving transactions across the network and intelligently managing the traffic to stay within the tight time requirements.

Much like early railroad lines, consumers and businesses alike chase the value that these new real-time payment rails enable. The rails facilitate the transaction, but you need a digital overlay service to kick off the entire process. Request-to-pay is a common service that overlays onto a real-time payment rail, allowing a payee to request a payment from a payer. Historically, this has largely been a consumer-led service, but now businesses see the value and have quickly jumped on board. Request-to-pay is just one example of how digital overlay services create value and demand for real-time transactions.

The value of digital overlay services is two-fold. From the consumer and business side, digital overlay services bring convenience and immediate cash flow. From the bank side, digital overlay services create new revenue channels and a level of stickiness with their customers that all financial institutions desperately need right now.

REN Connect GO is our suite of Global Overlays that can help you and your customers quickly realize the value of real-time payment rails. For more information, please visit our website.

Matt Nilles

Matt Nilles currently oversees the development and promotion of Euronet’s Ren product line worldwide. Matt has more than 18 years of product development and marketing expertise, and brings a wealth of cross-industry knowledge and thought leadership to the Euronet team. Matt holds a Masters of Business Administrationfrom the University of Central Arkansas.