The New York Clearing House announced a major initiative that will provide the first Internet-enabled global payments infrastructure needed to support true B2B e-commerce.
The new functionality will enhance the capabilities of the Clearing House’s two core payment channels: the Electronic Payments Network (EPN), and the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS).
There has been a lot of discussion in the banking industry about the desirability of moving away from paper checks and toward an easy, secure, and robust electronic payments system that is Internet compatible. Little progress has been achieved because of the high costs involved and because the focus has been on starting from scratch, building a system from the ground up.
The Internet offers significant efficiencies and enhanced value for banking and commerce, and the Clearing House will roll-out the first truly B2B clearing and settlement system, providing unprecedented security, reliability, and added value to all U.S. dollar-based electronic payments that take place globally. The new capabilities will be introduced later this year and will be fully implemented by Summer 2002.
One key feature of the new enhancements is a Universal Payment Identification Code (UPIC) that protects against fraud and makes initiating payments easier. Banks will establish a UPIC with the Clearing House for their business customers that will “mask” confidential data such as their bank account and bank routing number. The UPIC will stay with the company regardless of whether they change banks or move to another city or state. Eventually, this capability will be expanded to individuals, affording the same level of security and fraud protection to the general public.
The new Internet-enabled enhancements will be integrated in the NYCH two flagship services, the EPN and CHIPS payment platforms. The new capabilities will allow each platform to include all information required to post and reconcile payments by capturing, storing, translating and delivering payment remittance information.
The Clearing House will also make an additional announcement at NACHA’s Global Electronic Payments Conference. The second announcement covers new enhancements to CHIPS, Finality and a rich EDI capability (now operational), that provide corporations with real-time final payment transactions with related payment details. As a result, CHIPS banks can now allow their customers to instantaneously match payments to orders, allowing them to release shipments more quickly with no payment risk.