US Bank, the fifth largest bank in the United States, will soon become the first major bank to implement Secure Vault Payments (SVP), a new breed of online payment that provides businesses and consumers with the most secure and cost-effective electronic ACH payment available in the market today.
SVP links consumers to their financial institutions through merchants and billers, providing value to all stakeholders in the payment chain. It gives businesses the only online payment option that provides real-time authorization of funds and guaranteed payments for ACH transactions at costs typically lower than traditional and other alternative payment methods.
With SVP, consumers initiate payments on a merchant or biller's web site and are automatically redirected to their own financial institution's online banking platform to select which account they wish to use for payment. Consumers are then returned to the merchant or biller's site, where they receive a payment confirmation.
Through this process, financial institutions authenticate consumers and provide businesses with real-time authorization and confirmation of payment. Consumers benefit by not having to share any financial account information with the merchant or biller, and billers benefit from not having to securely store payer account information.
"Launching Secure Vault Payments allows U.S. Bank to give our business customers a cost-effective, low risk option to accept online payments, while also offering our consumer banking customers one of the safest ways to pay online," said Jeff Jones, executive vice president for treasury management at U.S. Bank. "It's a win-win for everyone in the payment chain."
Secure Vault Payments was developed by NACHA-the Electronic Payments Association, in an effort to reduce paper checks and increase use of the ACH Network. The SVP switch technology that transfers users between the biller's site and the financial institution's site is built on the Online Banking ePayments (OBeP) platform of eWise. As the exclusive network provider for SVP, eWise serves as the primary contact for network participation and operation.
"The ACH Network links every financial institution in the nation, and capitalizing on that reach, SVP is well positioned to connect consumers to merchants and billers via online banking platforms," said Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of NACHA. "We are delighted a top five bank like U.S. Bank recognizes the ease and security Secure Vault Payments offers consumers, and we look forward to working with them and other financial institutions to provide SVP to their customers."
"Industry led OBeP networks, like Secure Vault Payments, and their use are proliferating around the world and we believe they add value to financial institutions, merchants and billers and consumers by providing a simple, cost effective and secure payment option specifically designed for online payments," said Alex Grinberg, chief executive officer of eWise. "We are very pleased to welcome U.S. Bank to the network and are working with them to make their participation a success."
In a related news release, NACHA recently announced the conclusion of the SVP pilot program and general availability of the SVP payment solution. The 18-month SVP pilot included financial institutions, merchants and billers. The University of Georgia, a participant in the pilot, has seen 17% of enabled students using SVP to pay their tuition and 48% of users have used SVP more than 5 times.