FirstBank is excited to introduce the Real-Time Payments (RTP®) system, which makes funds immediately available and reduces cash flow challenges present with other payment methods.

What are Real-Time Payments®?

Real-Time Payments can move money into a business or consumer account within seconds and can be immediately accessed.  

In addition to immediate funds availability, other features of the RTP® system include:

  • 24/7 processing: payments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
  • Finality: payments are final and irrevocable. When a payment is made, it cannot be cancelled or automatically recalled.
  • Payment security: since transactions flow through federally insured banks and credit unions, there’s a high level of scrutiny and fraud detection. In addition, senders will receive confirmation the payment was accepted or rejected within seconds.
  • Detailed information: senders can provide thorough notes regarding purpose of payment.  

How are Real-Time Payments® used?

Real-Time Payments can benefit individuals, businesses and independent contractors, as well as Gig Economy Workers. See below for some of the most common ways Real-Time Payments® are used:

  • Transferring funds out of a digital wallet or third-party account like Venmo® or Robinhood® to a FirstBank account
  • Immediate distribution and access to funds in emergency situations
  • Disbursement of proceeds (ex: selling a used vehicle)
  • Receiving payroll
  • Payment for independent contractor jobs, either independently or via third-party platforms (ex: GrubHub)
  • Payments for business to business or business to consumer invoices

How does it work?

  • In order to receive funds into a FirstBank account, the sending bank must be on the real-time payment network and have the ability to submit Real-Time Payments.
  • Once that’s confirmed, you’ll need to provide your FirstBank routing and account number to the individual or business who has an RTP® enabled bank or credit union.
  • Similar to receiving a wire transfer, double-checking your routing and account number is key to ensuring the transaction goes through.
  • When providing personal information, make sure the source is actually who they say they are. To learn more, check out Beware of Crypto Criminals: How to Avoid Getting Scammed.
  • All funds sent through RTP® are made available within seconds of receipt by FirstBank and considered final, unless consent is provided for return.

How do you know the transfer was received?

The payment will show up on your bank statement and transaction history via Mobile and Online Banking.* If you have text or email alerts set up, you can also get immediate notifications.

How does RTP® differ from Zelle®?

  • Zelle® is a customer-facing payment service while the RTP network is a behind-the-scenes clearing and settlement utility.
  • Zelle® allows senders to initiate a payment using the receiver’s alias such as a phone number or email, whereas RTP uses actual account and routing numbers.
  • Today most Zelle® payments settle between financial institutions after the actual Zelle transfer.
  • Finally, Zelle® has a $2,500 daily limit and should only be used to send or receive money to friends and family, whereas Real-Time Payments can be used for multiple use cases including payroll or invoice payments. It can also make larger amounts of money (up to $1 million) immediately available, helping reduce pain points associated with slower payment systems like checks.

What are some restrictions with RTP®?

While the RTP® network is capable of supporting a broad range of payments, some financial institutions may not offer it. At this time, there may be limitations in terms of which banks and companies can originate and/or receive payments.

FirstBank customers are able to receive Real-Time Payments, however the ability to send Real-Time Payments is not currently available (but will be in the future).

For additional questions about RTP®, please reach out to customer service at 1-800-964-3444.

*Online Banking is free with eStatements. $3 per month with paper statements. Online Banking is required to use mobile and online products.

Zelle®: Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

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