New European standards require greater data sharing to accommodate faster transaction processing, mobile payments and other digital efforts — a trend that is also inspiring new collaborations across the pond.
Purchasing VocaLink has cost Mastercard more than $900 million and some regulatory headaches, but the investment has to potential to spark new payment products and facilitate the card brand's pursuit of faster processing.
For the last two years, the central bank has allowed the private sector to drive a process aimed at modernizing the nation's payments system. Now the Fed will have to determine what its own role will be.
An influential task force established by the central bank envisions a future in which the U.S. has multiple real-time payment systems, and in a new report it lays out a series of actions that will be necessary to stitch them together.