Though the introduction of IP to the U.S. market occurred later than in other culturally and technologically similar nations, the country is now set to see significant uptake, with two schemes live and one more in progress.

Its first IP service, Zelle, is offered by more than 750 financial institutions across the country. Zelle supports both individuals and business accounts, and fund transfers can be made in a variety of ways such as using the Zelle app, a participating bank’s or credit union’s mobile app, and/or a bank’s online banking services. The Clearing House (TCH) launched the Real-Time Payments (RTP) network, a 24/7/365 scheme that allows P2P, B2B, B2C, C2B and G2C payments, with a transfer limit of $100,000.

A third network, FedNow, is currently in development by the Federal Reserve. FedNow will allow P2P, B2B, B2C, C2B and G2C payments. Its aim is to facilitate IP services for banks of every size in the country, which will enable a wider presence than the other networks available.



  • Consumers
  • Banks
  • Merchants
  • Billers



Population banking level


Number of debit, credit and charge cards per adult


Index to global average


Fully banked

Key statistics


IP launch year

Immediate payments types

Single instance, payroll, refunds

Initiation & authorization

Mobile number, email

ISO 20022

Message standard









% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have used it in the past year

Share of volumes by payments instrument



Spend (USD)

  • Paper-based payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Immediate payments

Immediate payments volume and its share in overall non-paper-based transactions, 2017-24f

% of total electronic payments transaction volume


The U.S. is an interesting case study for IP; its schemes are relatively new, and the huge diversity in the country’s financial landscape and ingrained consumer payment habits present unique challenges for the rollout of any modern payments infrastructure. However, the U.S. has seen strong adoption and growth since launch, with additional schemes like FedNow likely to fuel further expansion.

Digital payments are on the rise: IP transactions have started to replace paper-based payments (cash/checks), while other electronic payment types have also continued to grow. It’s worth noting that America’s heavy reliance on payment cards means that IP must present compelling use cases or additional features/benefits not currently offered by other payment types for it to surge to levels seen in other countries.

Ultimately, though strong growth is forecast in the U.S., it could be more aggressive — at present, it’s inhibited by limited acceptance beyond P2P/banks. If merchant acceptance becomes broader, and billers begin to accept IP, growth in the U.S. could accelerate even further.

ACI’s take

From FedNow and cross-border services like SWIFT gpi, to the presence of multiple IP systems including TCH’s RTP system and Zelle, it’s clear IP is here to stay.

The need to deliver IP services to customers has never been more pressing for banks, credit unions, processors, acquirers and fintechs. However, the U.S. payments ecosystem — and its infrastructure — must keep pace with global markets to remain competitive, and interoperability between IP systems will be key.

There’s no doubt that what the U.S. needs now is an industry-wide drive toward IP. FedNow has reinvigorated the conversation around IP adoption, and global experience tells us that having system choice can provide benefits in terms of driving adoption and transaction volumes. That will be a win for all parties.


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