User Needs of Senders and Recipients

Nexus has been designed with a focus on the user experience for the sender of a cross-border payment. The payment process would make use of the best features of Instant Payment Systems, where they are available, while falling back to basic services when certain features are not supported by the Source or Destination IPS (or their member banks and PSPs).
Building on the pain points outlined in the short report, we identified the following requirements for Senders (and Recipients) of cross-border payments:
  • Payments should be near-instant. In most cases, the payment should be processed within 60 seconds. This time is measured from the moment the Sender clicks “Send Payment”, until the moment both the Sender and Recipient are notified that the payment has been successful.
  • The payment setup process should ensure the payment is very likely to complete successfully. If the payment fails, the customer should be told immediately.
  • The cost of sending a cross-border payment should be increasingly cost-efficient.
  • The cost should be known before the Sender clicks “Send payment”.
  • The cost should be transparent and not hidden in the FX rate. (Many banks currently offer “free” transfers which offer sub-standard FX rates, meaning that the true cost of the service is hidden. This makes it difficult for users to compare services, harming competition.)
  • The Recipient should be credited with the amount that was actually sent by the Sender. If the Destination Bank charges any fees for receiving cross-border payments, these should be charged as a separate line item. (For businesses in particular, this aids reconciliation between incoming payments and invoices issued, while allowing the fees to be recorded as a cost of banking services.)
  • As above, fees and FX rates should be transparent and known up front.
  • Users should be able to see the status of their payment if it has not successfully completed within 2 minutes.
  • If a payment is unable to go through, users should be told the reasons why and how to resolve it. (This is not always possible, for example when illicit activity is suspected and telling the Sender the reason for blocking the payment would constitute a “tip off’.)
  • Any individual or business who can send a domestic fast payment should also be able to send a cross-border payment through Nexus (assuming that their bank/PSP has enabled itself to make and receive Nexus payments – see Reachability Check for further detail).
  • Note: to make Nexus payments, a user must have a bank account or an account with a non-bank PSP who is a member of the IPS, so it does not address financial inclusion concerns around the unbanked.
Confidence and Security
  • Where the recipient is able to use an alias (eg phone number) for domestic payments, this alias should also be valid for cross-border payments. This will support the Sender to validate the identity of the recipient and would avoid the Recipient having to reveal more sensitive bank account numbers.
  • Senders should be able to confirm that they are sending funds to the right account, through some form of Confirmation of Payee functionality (wherever possible).
  • The process of setting up a cross-border payment should be intuitive, helpful and as friction-free as possible, otherwise the service will not be widely used.
  • The user should be able to use their existing banking channel, such as an app or internet banking, to initiate Nexus payments. (We will refer to an app in the rest of this document.) The Nexus service must not require a separate registration, log-in or app.
  • As above, where the recipient can use an alias for a domestic payment, this alias should also be valid for cross-border payments through Nexus. This is because it is easier for a user to enter and confirm a phone number than (for example) a 34-character IBAN.
Speed: Why target 60 seconds?
  • We chose a target of 60 seconds because most IPSs can process domestic payments within 30 seconds or less. Doubling this time to account for both IPSs and adding a few seconds for cross-border communication, means that “around 60 seconds” should be feasible in most cases.
  • This does not include the time for the user to set up the payment instruction and does not include certain validation checks which will be undertaken while the Sender is setting up the payment (as described in An end-to-end payment through Nexus).
  • In practice, the limitations of a few IPSs mean that a minority of payments could take up to 90-100 seconds. For example, a domestic payment within South Africa can take up to 60 seconds, whereas payments within Turkey and Mexico take up to 30 seconds. This means a payment from South Africa to Turkey or Mexico could take up to 90 seconds plus any time for cross-border communication (although may be much faster in practice).