The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) will provide U.S. banks with a gateway to The Clearing House's real-time domestic payments platform.

The Clearing House has worked on a faster payments system as part of the larger U.S. initiative to upgrade its networks. In doing so, TCH has built a new clearing and settlement system to support domestic instant payments in the U.S. It will also include data and non-payment messages that financial institutions can use to build digital commerce solutions.

Swift says its gateway will be commercially available in early 2018, while The Clearing House continues to target this November as its launch date for real-time payments.

“Swift is working together with communities worldwide to support the global shift towards real-time payments, and we are pleased to be at the forefront as the U.S. market evolves,” Ignacio Blanco, director of strategic relationships at Swift, said in an Aug. 15 press release. “The Clearing House is making great strides in accelerating the speed of transactions, and we are committed to playing our part in helping the financial community to operate as efficiently as possible.”

Swift's gateway software for the U.S. market will provide banks with a single platform, or alliance messaging hub, for both Swift high-value payments and low-value real-time payments from The Clearing House. The messaging hub layer will include the gateway to the real-time payments network, as well as other gateways and APIs that allow financial institutions to connect to non-Swift networks.

“Given its reach and expertise in payments, Swift is a great collaborator as we bring a wide-scale real-time payments system to the U.S. market," Steve Ledford, senior vice president of product and strategy at The Clearing House, said in the release. "Achieving our vision of broad adoption of real-time payments will only be possible when the majority of U.S. institutions are able to participate, and Swift will be instrumental in helping us meet this goal.”

The solution is the latest development in Swift's global instant payments strategy, and builds on earlier success in Australia and in Europe faster payments initiatives.

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