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ACI Worldwide and Mastercard partner on global real-time payments solutions

ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions, and Mastercard, the global multi-rail payments technology company, have announced that they will partner to provide a wide range of real-time payment solutions globally. 

The two companies will initially collaborate to offer central infrastructure, payments localisation and access solutions to central banks, scheme operators, financial institutions, payment service providers, and other organisations launching real-time payments initiatives. This follows the news last month that Mastercard has launched a central bank digital currencies testing platform.

A growing market for real-time payments

The real-time account-to-account payments market continues to quickly expand. 'Prime Time for Real-Time' - a recent ACI Worldwide study analysing global real-time, account-to-account payment volumes and forecasts across 30 global markets - projects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.4% from 2019 to 2024. While existing schemes around the world are adding new participants and value-added services, additional country and regional schemes are launching each year, including more than 20 schemes in varying planning stages.

The combination of Mastercard’s central infrastructure and ACI’s payments access and real-time message transformation technology is designed to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end offering for the space. The joint solution aims to deliver the following benefits:

Flexible deployment options 

Mastercard and ACI collaboration provides deployment options that range from a fully managed service in the cloud, to supporting on-premise software for government, central bank and system operator-owned platforms.

Ability to support existing local market requirements 

The joint solution reduces the amount of time to onboard participants and provides flexibility to accelerate real-time adoption.

ISO20022-first approach 

Joint real-time capabilities support organisations today and tomorrow, and provide translation to and from existing standards.

Digital services 

Further capabilities to support new digital services such as request to pay, proxy services and biller services.

Global proposition, local expertise. 

Mastercard and ACI collaboration brings together global reach, international experience and the local market knowledge.

“With more countries and regions embarking on the modernisation of their payments systems to capitalise on real-time technologies and customer demand, the market opportunity is significant,” said Paul Stoddart, president of New Payment Platforms at Mastercard. “Working together with ACI, we will explore a wide range of opportunities to accelerate the development and usage of real-time and multi-channel payment platforms, driving choice and innovation to market participants and end customers.”

“Mastercard and ACI share an extensive and complementary track record of real-time payments success - driving global central infrastructure clearing and settlement schemes, and this partnership creates the most robust and complete set of real-time capabilities in the market today,” said Craig Saks, chief strategy and transformation officer at ACI Worldwide. 

Track record

Mastercard is a provider of account-to-account and card payments technology globally, with markets including the US, UK and Singapore as real-time payment infrastructure customers. ACI currently supports 18 real-time domestic schemes around the world, including Zelle and TCH in the US. Approximately 50% of the UK’s Faster Payments (UKFP) and 75% of Hungary’s GIRO transactions are processed through UP Immediate Payments. The solution is also the core processing infrastructure for Malaysia’s Real-Time Retail Payments Platform (RPP), and STET’s real-time payments platform for PSPs in Europe. Additionally, ACI has customers using UP Immediate Payments to access Singapore FAST and the Australian NPP (New Payments Platform).

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