The Clearing House taps IBM to help digitally transform the U.S. Payments System

Armonk, NY - 20 Sep 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM ) today announced The Clearing House , a national payments system operator for the U.S. banking industry, has selected IBM to help deliver a new real-time payments system due to roll out in 2017. Set to transform domestic digital transactions, the real-time payments system (RTP) is designed to enable consumers and businesses across the U.S. to send and receive payments instantaneously.

IBM joins VocaLink, the international payments systems provider previously selected by The Clearing House, to build the first-of-its-kind payments system in the U.S. After evaluating various hardware technology infrastructures on which to run the VocaLink solution, The Clearing House selected an IBM POWER8-based system infrastructure running Linux and AIX operating systems as the hosting platform.

Responsible for clearing nearly $2 trillion in payments per day, The Clearing House will utilize the unique capabilities of the POWER8 architecture to efficiently process millions of bank payments settled daily, in real-time, in a security-rich environment. The ubiquitous system is expected to help reduce and eliminate payment delays and give receivers of financial payments immediate access to funds and support complex business payment services including electronic invoicing, rich remittance data and confirmation of delivery.

The Clearing House plans to launch the new system with major U.S. banks in 2017. RTP is designed to support thousands of simultaneous transactions per second, processing payments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once implemented, RTP will provide a hub that is accessible to all financial institutions and allow customers to use their existing accounts at financial institutions to send and receive payments.

“The real-time payments solution we’re building marks an important milestone for the U.S. banking industry, a revolution in the payments market that brings a new level of service to businesses and consumers,” said Tom Statnick, Chief Information Officer, The Clearing House. “To support our real-time initiative, it was crucial we had the right technology infrastructure in place. With IBM Power Systems running Linux and AIX as our base infrastructure, we have the security, availability and resilience required for this industry-changing undertaking.”

Prior to building the custom solution for The Clearing House, IBM and VocaLink ran an extensive set of performance and resiliency tests of the payments service on a set of enterprise-class Power Systems. The IBM POWER8-based infrastructure supported a sustained 2,500 transactions per second – a record result for the VocaLink application. VocaLink previously offered its real-time banking solutions on x86-based infrastructure.

“Our collaboration with IBM, and expansion of our solution onto the Power platform, will transform the amount and speed of data and result in the delivery of a payments solution currently unimagined in the U.S.,” said George Evers, Director of Immediate Payment Solutions, VocaLink. “Together, we will transform payments to offer consumers and businesses the capability for an immediate and convenient payment option.”

“The Clearing House is combining digital intelligence with digital delivery to benefit banking customers across the country in new and meaningful ways,” said Doug Balog, General Manager, POWER, IBM Systems. “As the growth of data, mobile engagement and cloud computing continues to present business opportunities to all industries, information technology infrastructure continues to play an increasingly important role.”

Also supporting the initiative to digitally transform payments transactions in the U.S. and to complement the new payments system under development by The Clearing House, IBM will offer expanded payment capabilities within its Financial Transaction Manager (FTM) portfolio. FTM, which runs on multiple platforms including IBM Power and z Systems, can help commercial banks rapidly connect to and enable new services using real-time payments.

About The Clearing House

The Clearing House is a banking association and payments company that is owned by the largest commercial banks and dates back to 1853. The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. owns and operates core payments system infrastructure in the United States and is currently working to modernize that infrastructure by building a new, ubiquitous, real-time payment system. The Payments Company is the only private-sector ACH and wire operator in the United States, clearing and settling nearly $2 trillion in U.S. dollar payments each day, representing half of all commercial ACH and wire volume. Its affiliate, The Clearing House Association L.L.C., is a nonpartisan organization that engages in research, analysis, advocacy and litigation focused on financial regulation that supports a safe, sound and competitive banking system.

About VocaLink

[ VocaLink is a global payments partner to banks, corporates and governments. VocaLink designs, builds and operates world-class platforms that make it easier for people to make payments confidently and securely. In the UK, VocaLink processes over 90% of salaries, more than 70% of household bills and almost all state benefits. VocaLink’s high availability, resilient payment systems power the Faster Payments Service on behalf of the Faster Payments Scheme, the Account Switching platform, Bacs and the Direct Debit Scheme. VocaLink also connects the world’s busiest network of over 70,000 ATMs through the LINK scheme. Last year VocaLink processed over 11 billion transactions with a value of £6 trillion - powering economies and empowering people.

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